Fast Friday words of wisdom with a King St West philosopher

Posted June 4, 2010 in Career Management, Latest News & Insights

As the self-proclaimed centre of the universe, Toronto has always struck me as being full of people happy to give you unsolicited advice.  Walking along King Street recently, I saw a quote pasted in a doorway worthy of our Fast Friday installment.

“5 percent is the plan; 95 percent is the execution.”

It reminded me of something previous panelist Matthew Corrin, the dynamic young CEO of Freshii, said: talk is cheap. Execution is key.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been spending lots of time with leaders who are building their personal leadership plans.  To say that writing a leadership plan is gruelling would be an understatement.  Typically, we’re asked to think about our business plans… how we’re going to meet our targets, reduce costs, improve operations.  We’re not asked to think about how we’re going to be a more effective leader or where we want our careers to be 12 months from now.

In my experience (and in observing others), when it comes to thinking about your own development, the 5% component of the success equation can still be a doozie.  Getting clear about what you really want to be doing when you “grow up” after the age of 30 can be daunting.

So, do you have a leadership plan for this year?  For this decade? What’s your career look like in your 50’s and what are you doing now to get there?

To get started on building your personal leadership plan, consider using my friend Tim Cork’s technique from his Straight A’s program.  Make a list of everything you’d like to accomplish in your life (career, financial, family, personal development… you name it).  Then start taking the list and dividing it into what you’re going to do this year, in 3 years, 5 years or 10 years.  Then break down your one year goals into monthly goals.  To get some support, consider working with a coach, assembling a peer group or finding a mentor or other support.  The key is to create some structures of accountability.  Whatever works for you.  And then get executing!

Happy leading!

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