Plan to make 2013 your best year ever

Here’s an idea from my Coach Mike Kaaks to ensure you get off to a great start in 2013. Instead of the usual goal setting activities or New Year’s resolutions write a first 100 day plan. Worth a try?

Plan for a Successful 2013 - by Mike Kaaks

We talk about adding energy and success through a first 100 day plan when we embark on a new role or new step in our career. It’s the foundation for many stories in which the key protagonist made a real difference for themselves, for those around them and for their organisation.

What if…..

What if you look at next year as a new job and build a ‘first 100 days plan’ so you and your team really hit the deck running. Let’s start by reflecting on the leadership impact of a wonderful plan for those first 100 days. Exemplary leaders envision the future, gaze across the horizon of time and imagine the greater opportunities to come.  They are able to develop a unique image of the future. This ability, more than any of the other leadership skills, differentiates leaders from individual contributors. This is the heart of your plan. Just imagine how energised and motivated your team, indeed all your stakeholders, will feel when they hear you talking so passionately and clearly about what are your expectations of them.

Tips for your  First 100 Days Plan

Encourage learning. You and your team need to stay abreast of all that is happening in your world. Consumers, suppliers, other partners, customers, competitors, they are all changing constantly. Operating on last year’s assumptions might not be good enough.

Secure early wins. Early achievements boost credibility and momentum. Make sure you win early in the year and avoid playing catch-up and gap-fill throughout the year.

Be aligned. Match actions to your strategy. An easy question with which to test you plan is to see if each step in the plan relates to your agreed priorities, if it brings you closer to your vision.

Match strategy to the situation. Diagnose your business situation and accurately clarify its challenges and opportunities.

Lead your team. Are there any tough personnel calls you avoided last year? Are all the right people in the right jobs? Ensure you have strong coalitions. Identify those whose support is essential for your success in the coming year and work out how to bring them on-side, and how to keep them there.

Promote your plan. Help people see that things are different, that the business is not just rolling over into a new calendar in which everything else remains the same.

Make some changes. Move people / accountabilities.

As you make change your ally, keep your balance - preserve your ability to make good judgments.

When Posner and Kouzes ask people to tell them about their personal best leadership experiences, they talk about times of crisis, adversity, change, and great difficulty. We don’t do our best as leaders when we are maintaining the status quo or when we feel comfortable. The situations that bring out our best are those that challenge us.

The study of leadership, then, is the study of how men and women guide people through adversity, uncertainty, hardship, disruption, transformation, transition, recovery, new beginnings, and other significant challenges. It’s also the study of how men and women, in times of constancy and complacency, actively seek to disturb the status quo and awaken new possibilities. Leadership and challenge are simply inseparable.

Write your first 100 day plan now – create your own new beginnings.

Contact Mike Kaaks via email:

* Adapted from the works of Michael Watkins and Posner and Kouzes


Posted: Saturday 29 December 2012

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