AIM: DEFINE YOUR PRIORITY AND PLAN
After setting your intention, the next step is to identify your top priority for the day and to design a plan to achieve it.
Your intention is the quality that you want to embody. Your priority is the goal that will create this quality.
When you are intentional, your daily priority can be anything: making a call that you have been avoiding, closing a big deal, or even taking the day off from work. As a leader, you get to decide.
Many leaders I witness are obsessed with speed and quantity. They are consumed by being busy rather than productive because a packed schedule makes them feel important. They are addicted to the thrill of execution but lack an intimate relationship with the joy of fulfillment.
They fail to realize that being busy does not mean that they are accomplishing their goals, intentions and missions. On the contrary, they act out of alignment with their purposes, tire themselves out, and lose the confidence of their teams, clients and families.
Many leaders even hurt their communities with their actions because they refuse to consult or to listen to others. They love to hear their own voices. They also are unwilling to be questioned on their quests for their daily fix of stress-filled performance.
I used to operate this way too. My college basketball coach frequently yelled at me:
“Nick, just because you are moving doesn’t mean you are achieving anything.”
I still can see his face, red with anger and disapproval. I still can see my face, blank with confusion and arrogance.
But he was right. I was moving around without an intention, goal or plan. I was shooting from anywhere and everywhere without thinking. And I was not listening. As a result, I never lived up to my basketball potential and eventually quit because of my refusal to play in line with my coach’s vision.
It has taken me 15 years to hear his teaching fully. This has cost me as a leader. In my 20s, I was a frenetic, arrogant and aggressive manager. In my early 30s, I did not factor others’ thoughts and feelings into company decisions.
You can accelerate your timeline to become an aligned leader by learning how to aim before you shoot:
To identify your top priority, ask yourself: What is the one goal you want to accomplish today that would fulfill your intention? This goal should be so big that, if you did nothing else, your day still would be a win. “Win the day” is a powerful mantra. If you win the day every day, then you will amass 365 wins by the end of the year. That’s a lot.
- What’s the one goal that would win my day?
- Would this priority strengthen or weaken my team’s confidence in me as a leader?
Next, envision how you will secure your win. Visualize and feel yourself taking steps toward and, by the end of the day, attaining your goal. Breathe into this picture. The clearer you can get on how you will actualize your priority, the more efficiently and effectively that you will do so.
- What are the three actions that I would need to take today to achieve my goal?
- Am I willing to do things differently in order to accomplish my goal?
From here, gather all the information that you need to implement your vision. Craft a complete picture of your goal so that you can make a 360-degree plan before you act. Be specific in your thoughts, words and notes so that you can take aim with more precision. This can be challenging, especially at first, so take your time.
As you research, ask yourself and your team open-ended questions. Talk less and listen more. I then suggest slowing down further. Take another breath and listen more actively and deeply to everyone’s insights. This will empower your team to contribute their expertise and you to make better decisions.
- Who are the key players required to help me carry out my goal?
- Do I have a clear plan for myself, my team and my company? And do I have a plan to communicate this plan?
Read P.III HERE
Want to learn how to live and to lead in alignment with your purpose? If so, then let’s talk about how we can make that happen for you. If you’re ready, then contact me HERE.