Let’s play a game. Let’s pretend it is Thanksgiving 2012. I have just run into you at a networking event and I ask, “so what’s the best thing that happened to you this year?”. What’s your answer? Whatever you come up with is the start of your plan for 2012. Get it?
What’s my point? We often start our strategic goals from a money standpoint, or looking at our goals for the previous year and see how we improved. All valid things, but you are never going to stand at a party and tell me, “I achieved all of my stated goals!”. If you do, you would probably get a “congratulations” and the group would change the subject. But, if you had a story about landing a killer account or increasing sales by some amazing number well… people would want to hear about it. And you would want to talk about it. And then, the cycle would continue.
So this year start your plan from what story you would like to tell about 2012. You don’t have to tell anyone what it is but know what it is. Then, throughout the year you will work on it. Not because you wrote it down and read it to yourself every day, but because you internalize the story and we are pre-programmed to understand stories. When a piece of the story falls into place, you will have that satisfaction of knowing it is working. And then next year when I ask, you will tell me a compelling story about how you really worked hard and were able to do X. I will have questions and others will join the conversation because you have something to say. And from that conversation someone will say, “I want you to help ME with that too” and the cycle will continue!
So what was the best thing that happened this year?