I have a few questions for you ---What if we as individuals adapted and utilized some of the same tried and true processes and methods that have given businesses the edge they need to succeed over their competition? My sense is that understood and implemented correctly professionals would be able to gain the same competitive advantage. Remarkably, this is not anything overly complicated or new and I can't take credit for developing it. But I can (and will) take credit for suggesting we take it out of the boardroom and adapt it for personal use to achieve greater personal and professional success. This classic business tool is the process of Strategic Planning.
Consider what you could achieve if you had a clear vision of your short and long term objectives, understood where the greatest growth opportunity is now and where it will be in five years and had an effective action plan with measurements for evaluation.. That's what a strategic plan can do for you. It's like using a map to understand the best way to get across town knowing that are various options, but some are more direct and efficient then others. Strategic Planning is a deliberate, purposeful thought progression that when implemented will ensure your success.
I have taken the process and broken it into 5 steps. The first is Visioning? meaning you need to know at the beginning where you want to end up. Create a vivid mental picture of your future and list the specific results you want to achieve.
The second piece in the process is Preparing - strategically. To be strategic is to be calculating, deliberate and intentional. We've all heard the saying that knowledge is power so this is how you "power-up"! Strategically preparing incorporates research, resources and identifying potential options across a broad range of concerns. As with a corporate plan, an individuals' plan must include a SWOT analysis. This step is critical as it identifies your "Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats".
Taking this further, an effective SWOT analysis can not be developed without looking outside yourself (or your company) to consider external conditions such as industry and market conditions, technology advances, available resources, potential opportunities, core competencies and overall fit.
Step three involves creating your action plan. Based on what you now know, what do you need to do and how do you need to do it.
Step four is all about Implementation. As Nike says, "Just Do It".
Step five requires the ability to Evaluate and Adjust. This will not only help you to keep on track, but will promote continued learning and improvement.
Jeannette Kraar, president of Performance Management International is the Breakthrough Career Coach and a highly-acclaimed trainer, speaker and consultant. Hundreds of PMI clients have succeeded even in the most turbulent times. Jeannette is the author of BREAKTHROUGH, The Hate My Job, Need A Life, Can't Get No Satisfaction SOLUTION.
Learn more about the book at http://www.breakthroughcareersolutions.com
Email Jeannette at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her on-line at http://www.manageyoursuccess.com