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Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus.

What are you planning for in 2012? Do you have a plan or merely a list of wishes?

If you’ve seen Step One and Two of the Contagious Leaders’ Year End Close Process, here is the long awaited Step 3. Hehe! And if you’ve missed the first two, but are waiting with baited breath to gain access to them, here is access to the first two steps in our December Monday Moment series:

In Step Three the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and a facilitator may come in handy to work with you and your team. The reason for this is that it will be a challenge to both facilitate and participate in your own meeting. However, Contagious Leaders take action and as a leader, in this step you’ll want to guide others on the team to freely contribute to creating the Plan of Action for all you’ve expressed a desire to achieve. This plan of action will increase the likelihood that what the team has said they’d like to see next time in 2012 actually comes to fruition. Without this type of planning work as described below, you may find team members get frustrated showing actions that could even include sabotage of your efforts in other areas.

Let’s look instead toward a series of items that will propel your desired plan. By this time in the process, you know where you’ve been in 2011 and what you liked best about that journey. You’ve outlined where you wish to go in 2012 and taken a closer look at what will help or hinder your ability to get there. Next, you want to expand on the actions you and others may wish to stop, start, or continue with a more thorough examination of what you wish to accomplish and why and what it will take.

Here are four steps you want to take at this time, using all the information from your LBs/NTs and SWOT Analysis, and Start, Stop, and Continue lists created thus far, that will propel your plan without which you may sabotage your strategy.

–          Chunk similar desired achievements or projects into logical groups

–          Determine what are the top priorities and in what order other items fall

–          Create a plan for reprioritizing as might be needed (i.e. what will you do if 1 can’t get done, does anything else depend on its completion in order to be begun?)

–          List out the small actionable steps that need to occur in each larger chunk

–          Ask who will be responsible for each item

–          Determine ideal timelines

–          Decide on a date to follow up or touch base to measure and celebrate progress

With a clear picture of where you want to go, the action planning process becomes easier, far more effective, and simply objective. Without a clear plan, you have to be happy with wherever you end up and we all know that’s not always the case. Also remember, plans are not written on stone tablets and announced from on high, but written in pencil and backed by the enthusiasm of a soon to graduate student and the flexibility of the veteran who knows how things can change.  Both attitudes are contagious and both will be needed for your ongoing success in 2012!

Here’s to your success in 2012 and we wish you a wonderful New Year Celebration! See you next year and oh, of course, Stay Contagious!


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