Earlier this year I was out for a jog when I ran past someone wearing a T-shirt that read “What’s Your Why?” I was curious and came to find out this phrase is a popular topic that has you consider your life’s purpose, inspiration, motivation . . . what makes you, you.
In the business world, this would be called your mission statement. The mission statement is typically followed by a vision statement that establishes an organization’s future direction and desired destination. Perhaps the T-shirt version of your vision statement could be “Where’s Your Win?”
All successful organizations start with a mission and vision, then they craft a strategic plan to achieve their win. The same can work for you.
Let’s develop a plan for Me, Inc.
Start with your Why (mission) and your Win (vision), because it’s hard to chart a course if you don’t know where you are and where you want to go. You can find articles, books and videos to help you devise your Why and your Win, but in the final analysis they are as unique as you are. It might take some time and self-reflection.
With your Why and your Win established, it’s time to develop your plan in six steps:
Step 1. Determine your present situation: education, career, connections, finances, family, interests, experiences, challenges and your Why. This will be where you’ll begin your journey.
Step 2. Identify opportunities and threats you may encounter on the way to Win.
Step 3. Brainstorm bridges. Consider all the possible ways you can think of to span the divide from where you are today to where you want to go, being mindful of the potential obstacles and opportunities along the way. This step works best with multiple viewpoints. Enlist a diverse group of close confidants.
Step 4. Evaluate all the possible alternatives, then select the best bridge to get to your destination (the best way to Win!).
Step 5. Now build that bridge. Corporations build their bridges using goals, strategies and tactics. To simplify, let’s build the bridge for Me, Inc. using guideposts instead – think what needs to be accomplished, how, and when. A short bridge can typically be built with three to four guideposts; longer ones may take five or six.
Step 6. You have assessed where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow, and you built the bridge using guideposts to get you there. Now it’s time to execute. Cross that bridge on your way to Win. Then buy the T-shirt!
Tom Henz is an adjunct professor at USCB, as well as director and facilitator of the school’s Center for Strategic Planning. uscb.edu/csp