After, more than four decades, of involvement, in nearly all aspects of leadership, and leadership planning, from identifying, qualifying, training, developing, and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or potential leaders, to serving, personally, as a leader, in a number of capacities, and types of groups, I have come to believe, it’s impossible to effectively lead, unless/ until, one uses a relevant, action plan. Unfortunately, while that may seem, somewhat, obvious, there is little doubt, far too few individuals, use these efficiently, effectively, or in a meaningful way! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss 5 keys, to effectively, implementing, a quality, action plan.
1. Examine/ consider/ determine priorities/ goals/ priorities: How can anyone, no matter how well-intentioned, effectively, responsibly, serve and represent his organization, unless/ until, he fully considers, and perceives and conceives of, creates, and implements the finest, possible, action plan? One must begin, by, effectively, listening, and learning, from every conversation, and experience, and proceeding with the utmost degree of genuine empathy! Then, he must determine, what’s needed, and necessary, to proceed, in a strategic, effective manner.
2. Strategic planning: While many organizations claim, to use, strategic planning, and plans, in most instances, these are mere, gripe – sessions, instead of strategies! The only way, to use this step, in a relevant, sustainable way, is, to use a well-considered, agenda, understand the reason, and primary mission/ vision of the specific organization, and consider options and alternatives, as well as ramifications, with an open – mind.
3. Risk/ rewards/ benefits: Weigh the potential risks, and desired rewards/ results, thoroughly, in creating, the best, possible, action plan! Never take a short – cut, or path, of least resistance, but, focus on goals, priorities, relevance, and sustainability, in the present, short – term, and longer – term!
4. Alternatives: Fully consider, with an open – mind, various options and alternatives, and focus on the best way, to proceed forward, towards the achieving of the most desirable goals, and mission of the specific group.
5. Creating, articulating, the action plan, including specifics, etc: It’s not enough to, merely, have some ideas, but, a quality action plan, must include specifics, such as what it is addressing, why it’s needed, who will be involved, and individual responsibilities. This must be articulated, in a motivating, inspiring way!
It’s important to perceive and conceive of, create, develop, and implement, a quality action plan, which effectively/ properly, addresses priorities, in a well-considered manner. If you hope to be an effective leader, this is part of your responsibility!