The Myth Behind Luck and Leadership
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, some of us have “luck” on our mind. You may be a big believer in luck—perhaps you feel it’s played a role in your life. But know this: It’s never a best practice to count on it to run a business or achieve leadership and organization goals. In fact, it’s sort of like just hoping things will get better or that you’ll magically hit your goals. Yet as MAP consultants commonly tell their clients, “Hope is not a strategy.” If you make hope a habit, thinking maybe you’ll get lucky, you could end up helpless or otherwise disadvantaged in the end.
Here’s how to replace luck with legitimate strategies:
1. Create Your Plan
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” It’s a powerful truth. Planning enables you to determine strategies and actions for achieving your vital goals. It also forces you to identify foreseeable obstacles. Importantly, planning isn’t just a one-off activity. To execute it well, you’ve got to become a disciplined planner, doing both master plans and daily planning. It’s common for us to make excuses to put off planning—we’re too tired, too stressed, too confused about where and when to start. If you’re noticing that you’re making excuses, make a commitment to stop this habit. Planning is a vital aspect of management that forms necessary direction for your leadership and organization. And it will boost the odds that you’ll get to where you want to go.
2. Establish Triggers For Possible Corrective Action
You remember the recession of the late 2000s. It woefully caught a lot of companies by surprise. So part of planning is asking the question “What if?”—as in what if something external or internal to your business goes south and impacts it in a very negative way? It can happen even to the healthiest of organizations. So establish a way to spot potential troubles and have a strategy in place to take corrective action when those events start happening or get triggered. For example, this may be agreeing to take a particular corrective action when sales fall below a certain level or when cost of goods creep up to a particular level. Put this alert system in place to remain responsive and proactive about protecting your business.
3. Take Action!
If you want your plan to work, you’ve got to do the work—it won’t just magically happen on its own. Identify and secure the resources (time, money, staff members, etc.) you need to make it possible. And then build in accountability for both yourself and all others aligned to the plan, using a proven accountability system to create performance measures and track progress. If your plan feels overwhelming, you can take small steps toward your goals or break bigger strategies and actions into more manageable activities. Point is, don’t just let your plan gather dust on some shelf. Make it a working document so to better execute against your goals and drive the results you want and need.
Do you have an alert system in place for when things go south?