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This is a continuation of Application #2 on Developing and Communicating Goals for Creating Champions in the workplace, part of a series of blog articles with the overall theme of “When your staff succeeds, so do you.”

7 Steps to Planning Your Future

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook,
is very clear about authentic communication as a Leader.
(Tweet about this)

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, opens the hearts of all leaders in her book “Lean In”. I highly recommend this book where Sheryl invites us to dig deeper and self-reflect on what is really important in our organizations. It is a blueprint for personal growth. Watch herTed Talk which, to date, has garnered close to 5 million views.

Sheryl writes, “Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis for successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work. Yet people constantly back away from honesty to protect themselves and others. This reticence causes and perpetuates all kinds of problems: uncomfortable issues that never get addressed, resentment that builds, unfit managers who get promoted rather than fired, and on and on. Often these situations don’t improve because no one tells anyone what is really happening. We are so rarely brave enough to tell the truth.”

right-wisemanIn these 7 Steps to Planning Your Future, we lay the groundwork for authentic communication. In future blog articles we’ll provide you with more tools with which to bravely communicate and then you teach your employees/colleagues to do the same. Stay tuned!

1. Develop Your Departments Mission, Vision, Goals and Values.
Reference my last blog article on the difference between a Corporate MVGV and a Departmental MVGV.

• Every employee should understand the Mission – what your business is all about.
• Every employee should be able to repeat your Vision statement by heart – because they should all be working towards achieving that vision.
• Every employee should know the top 3 Goals of your organization and have written personal goals on how they can help the organization achieve these three goals.
• Every employee should demonstrate the Values such as Understanding, Acceptance and Faith. If they are not demonstrating them, this should be brought to their attention during their annual performance review.

2. Do A Quick Review of the Past and Present.
• External Analysis – Check out the factors such as political, economic, social, demographic, technological, lifestyle and competitive trends which could affect your business.
• Internal Analysis – Study trends in sales, profits, customer satisfaction. Study the people that work with you. Look at company ethics, pricing, product quality, manufacturing, customer service, market share, opportunities for personal growth of your employees, training and your role in the market place.

3. Think About Future Changes to the Business.
• Based on your external and internal analyses, what possible changes could you plan for? For example, who would have predicted a social media explosion 10 years ago?

4. Where/What Do You Want To Be In One Year? 3 Years? Up To 20 Years?
• Based on the possible future changes, what could be some plausible future alternatives for your business?

5. Draft The Plans To Help You Get There.
• Put your creative hats on – fire up the right side of your brain. Come up with ways in which you can meet your goals. For every objective, there must be plan. From each group assign one person responsible for obtaining results from these plans. They will be the drivers to completing the plan.
• Do The Brain Walk® everyday to help you think like Einstein every day. Now available on the Apple Store. Click here.

6. Sell The Plan.
• Your most important job is to sell all leaders and employees on the Mission, Vision, Goals and Values. Tell them how important they are to the achievement of the Vision. Don’t let them leave the room until you have a feeling of commitment from them. If you don’t have a feeling of commitment, ask some tough questions such as, “What fears are coming up for you right now?” Be prepared for some honest answers. Consider their suggestions.

7. Check Your Progress. Communicate the progress.
• All disciplined managers already check the financial numbers on a regular basis. On a semi-annual basis, take a closer look at your objectives and plans. How close are you to meeting your goals? You may have to be “adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit…” all the while, though, you are steadily building.
• Sheryl will thank us when we courageously and bravely tell the truth.

Whatever you do, don’t put the plan on a shelf.
“Don’t lose sight of your goals!”

Dont-lose-sight-of-your-goals