No Plan is a Plan to
By Nathan Jamail
Not having a game plan is the first step to not making your
business a success in 2010.
beginning of the year gyms are busy with all the new members with
the same “old” resolutions to get into shape this year. If a
business leader wants to have a successful 2010 then they can’t
treat their business plan like a New Year’s resolution- that is the
same old broken promise a person makes year after year; instead they
must treat the business plan like a championship coach treats his
game plan. A business leader must be more committed than those
people that go to the gym every day starting January 3rd
but by February 1st need a GPS system to find it. All
great sports coaches have a game plan prior to starting a game.
Business is the same way; think of the New Year’s ball dropping in
New York as the whistle that lets us know the game has started.
Don’t wait for the government to tell you if 2010 will be a good or
bad year. Create a game plan that will make sure 2010 is a
great year for you and your team.
Creating Your Game Plan:
In 2010, don’t write a business plan; rather create a
“game plan”. To really make it work a leader must do more than
change the name but should understand the difference. A business
plan is something that a company would give the bank to get a loan,
or what a company may use to determine the financials. A game plan
is something that tells a leader or a person the what, the how, the
when and the why of achieving particular goals. A game plan is all
about taking control of the business and how to ensure that others
will not affect the business negatively.
Write it Down.
The first step in creating the game plan is simple, and yet it is
what most people reading this will never get to-write it down.
If your game plan is in your head that is not a plan rather that is
a thought. Thoughts have no business value until you write them
down. Writing a game plan does three things for us; creates thought
process, creates confidence and creates action-results.
Stop and Think.
When a professional
creates a game plan they are forced to look at their desired results
and stop to really focus on what activities are required to achieve
their set goals. Just the focus and thought it takes to create a
real game plan is beneficial and helpful. It creates an environment
to review what has worked, what hasn’t, what is working for others,
and so forth. In addition when a person creates a game plan they
become more confident in themselves and therefore become more
motivated to take action. A real workable game plan is more than a
nice three ring binder that a person looks at once a year and puts
on the book shelf for the next 11 months to collect dust.
When a leader
creates their game plan, the plan should not be a dream that a
person or team cannot achieve, however, it should be a stretch from
the ‘norm’. Many business consultants and leaders will say to make
a plan realistic and that is a sure fire way to limit one’s success.
Realistic is not a good metric to measure by because it is limited
by the past and provides excuses. For example a sales manager will
say, “The sales people are only making 10 calls a day and it is
unrealistic for them to increase it to 50 times per day
immediately”. Or maybe since John the sales person has never
exceeded x amount of sales then it is not realistic for him to do
so. The activity and goals need to be logical not realistic.
Logical takes out lack of human discipline and desire. A game plan
should force a person or team to always believe they can be number
1. Logical says, “Someone has to be number 1, why not me?” Stop
being realistic-start be logical and don’t let your past limit your
future; let your present create a momentous future!
Implementing Your Game Plan:
the plan is imperative to getting started, it is the just the
beginning, a hint for success: you also have to implement what you
Step 1: Define Expectations.
supervisor give all direct reports their expectations starting with
what time to be at work, ready to start, to what they will do to
coach and develop their team. Even the top leaders that have a
proven success record need to do this. The higher the pay grade the
more important the expectations. Show your commitment as a leader
by providing the template for defining expectations to your team.
The game plan is what a person creates that will become their
playbook on how they will exceed their leader’s expectations. A
good plan will show a person where they are now, where they want to
be in the next 3 to 12 months and most importantly how will get
Step2: Work the plan. All leaders must inspect what they expect. I
believe it was the great Ronald Reagan that said, “trust but
verify”. A great way to keep business plans front of mind for
everyone is to make each person present their game every quarter in
front of their peers and superiors. This will allow for the entire
team to hold each other accountable and not just the direct leader.
A true game plan is worked and adjusted regularly. Having a game
plan takes a team beyond a person telling their boss or leader what
they want to hear; rather it takes them to making the plan their
Step 3: Stay Committed.
So many companies have the best ideas and intentions, but often fall
short of keeping a successful coaching program running. Watch out
for the “Power of New” profit taker. ‘The Power of New’ can be
described as an organization or team that is excited about new
programs, changes, or a new game plan, but after a few months, this
“new” stuff starts to look suspiciously like work and the “fun-ness”
wears off. A great leader knows that working on the
business is the only way to motivate everybody to keep working
in the business.
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