As I mentioned in my last blog post on going the extra mile, I am often asked, “how did you become successful?” Until recently, I had not articulated it, but 2020 has compelled me to reflect on this topic more. While there are many paths to success, I recently spent some time defining what has worked for me. In part two of my “How to Create Success” blog series, I’ll explain why you have to have a vision and a plan to reach “next level” success.
Have a Clear Vision and a Plan to Get There
The exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland sums up the importance of having a vision and a plan.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“-so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Having a vision is foundational in creating success. A clear, well-articulated vision gives you direction and a larger purpose. It gives you the inspiration to work hard and be disciplined. A vision allows you to create your definition of success and set proper expectations for what you want to accomplish. You can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are going!
A vision for yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as “I want to…
- be a highly effective executive who knows how to build an exceptional team and drive double-digit profit growth
- be a leadership thought influencer who inspires thousands of followers to be better leaders
- live a healthy lifestyle so I have the energy to go on adventures around the world
- be a great parent who raises strong, kind, resilient children
But without a plan, a vision is not worth the paper on which it’s written. Your vision will help you set long-term goals to avoid making short-term tradeoffs that veer you in a different direction.
Let’s use the “I want to be leadership thought influencer who inspires thousands of followers to be better leaders” as an example. To do this, a leader would need a plan of attack…
Step 1: Determine what kind of content you want to share so you establish credibility
Step 2: Research what others are doing. What can you learn and how will you differentiate yourself?
Step 3: Create social media profiles
Step 4: Create a blog or vlog
Step 5: Start posting blogs, vlogs, and other leadership content every day on social media
Step 6: Create a leadership podcast; invite guests to be interviewed
Step 7: Accept speaking opportunities to share your ideas on how to be an exceptional leader
Step 8: Analyze and Adjust… what’s working, what’s not? What do you need to do next?
You get the idea…
You can do the same thing with your company. Create your vision and a plan on how to get there. This is called, in its simplest terms, strategy.
Having a vision and a plan, coupled with going the extra mile, will help you on your journey to success. A vision and a plan will allow you to evaluate opportunities and adjust or pivot when necessary. Your vision and plan will morph as you take on new challenges or have unexpected setbacks. Life will take all kinds of twists and turns and that’s okay. Stay focused, adjust, and keep moving forward with purpose, intention, and a plan.
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