It’s Time for Leaders to Plan

While leaders begin to accept the new normal in their professional and personal lives, they can also begin to design a future plan. Most of us are still working remotely, spending a good chunk of our days filled with zoom calls and meetings. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t take critical steps to move forward. At some point we will be settling back into a more business building strategy and that will require each leader to hit the ground running. Without a plan, that movement forward will be handicapped.

If we want to keep growing our leadership, we need to take critical actions today. So dust off your marketing plans and goals that may be hiding behind your new home office desk and start your march forward.

Even during a crisis, leaders must take time to plan for the future.

Five maneuvers for leaders to use to plan for the future:

1. Shift To A Forward-Thinking Mindset

Although leaders may feel stuck and not totally ready to step ahead in their jobs and lives, it is important to change our thinking. As with any first step when we feel unsettled, we can’t pivot unless our minds and hearts are moving forward with us. We have taken the time to grieve and lean into our feelings during this crisis and now we need to push ourselves forward in a productive way. Shifting our mindsets can be a very powerful tool to empower leaders towards their next direction.

2. Create A New Leadership Vision

In a non-profit board that I am presently leading, we needed to take a hard look at what our vision needed to be in order to move forward. In a similar way, the leaders also had to take a deep dive into refining their vision too. A leadership vision will guide leaders in the direction they need to go and grow. To design this new vision, leaders may want to ask themselves these questions:

  • What is the organization’s or team’s vision?
  • How will my work fit into this new vision?
  • How do my my personal values support this new vision?
  • What adjustments do I need to make to my current leadership vision to support the new direction?

3. Be Clear On Priorities

A leader’s priorities should be a compass and reality check on where they want to focus their energies. When a leader can clearly articulate where they are headed and why, it is much easier to stick with a plan. Make a list of your priorities and decide what is truly most important and what can be tackled in second place. Not everything can be a priority. I have seen this step fall apart when leaders have difficulty prioritizing.

To propel forward after a worldwide pandemic, leaders need to be clear on their priorities.

4. Develop Goals To Support Your Plan

Once we know our priorities, we are ready to take a stab at creating our goals. Remember the new goals may look very different from the old ones. These goals will be the actions leaders will want to take to enable their vision to come alive. Goals are most effective if they include the following elements:

  • Possess clear, specific and descriptive actions.
  • Are measurable.
  • Able to be achieved in this new set of circumstances.
  • Are relevant to the organization vision and direction.
  • Contain a timeframe to achieve them.

5. Take Action Immediately To Propel Forward

Ready. Set. Go. It will be a waste of time if leaders don’t begin to institute their new plan immediately. Make sure the plan is In a written document that can easily be accessed. This important leadership tool reminds us that although we are still in the midst of some turbulence we are projecting ahead to a calmer future with hope and strategy. We are committing to our new work world ahead with thoughtfulness and planning. We are holding ourselves accountable to lead forward and start rebuilding today.

Related: Four Leadership Strategies For The New Normal