Fall brings an amazing energy shift from the lazy heat of summer to the brisk breeze of “get it done” energy that epitomizes fall. I love it. We all get serious like it’s a new year. And knowing that there are about 120 days left in the year to meet our goal and finish whatever needs to be done by year’s end is both sobering and inspirational.
This is a great time to get your action plan done, to launch into team building, or do that strategic plan. By now, you know where you are for the year and what is left undone. And you still have time to make it happen. When you look at your annual goals, you know that you have a limited time to address that thing you haven’t given attention to all year.
That is the subject I want to address this month. While we have so much wonderful “get it done” “let’s get busy” energy, how do we make time for the future seed planting while working on the current plan? As busy entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders, how do we steal away time and focus to envision and prepare for the next level of growth?
Here are a few things you can do:
1. Treat visioning with the same importance as your next sales call.
Making time to envision the next level is critical to there being a next level. You know this. When you put time into your calendar for planning and envisioning the future and give it the same value as other critical aspects of your work, you have the opportunity to manifest that vision. Doing this regularly creates momentum over time as you vet your ideas and land on the one you want to implement. What you spend energy thinking about manifests. Don’t shortchange your ability to manifest the things you want because you are afraid to slow down and make the time to work on your future.
2. Track your progress with precision.
Once you set clear goals and benchmarks, you have the opportunity to track your progress with precision. When you know how close or far away you are from accomplishing your goals, you can make the needed adjustments for your success.
3. Get your team on the same page
I have used many strategies to support my clients with getting their team on the same page. Dedicating 1:1 time is great. It allows you to see where they are in private, share your vision, and hear critical feedback or input through team members’ questions, worries, and perspectives. Team meetings and retreats are great for sharing ideas, working out logistical kinks, and aligning calendars and work plans for new initiatives. I have my clients focused on staff planning retreats and managing with 90-day action plans. This offers a structure for getting things done and getting the team on the same page as well as communicating regularly about what is important. It’s a great tool for leaders to support alignment among different departments and functions.
4. Get your organization running in a way that doesn’t require you at every step
This is the work of growth and delegating. It requires you to release the need to do the repetitive day-to-day operational tasks and move more fully into your leadership. Many people wonder what their role will be if they let go of the day-to-day tasks. But when they finally do, they find themselves immersed in the strategic aspects – building the relationships and envisioning the path forward to future growth and success.
5. Network for your next level
We are often focused on what is near term and guaranteed and so is our networking. I want to challenge you to focus your networking and relationship building on the future, on your next level. Being in rooms where there are people who can support your next level. You don’t have to have it all together. You can find ways to support them as you prepare. And when you are ready, you will have the relationships you need to move powerfully towards your next level of success.
6. Stay focused: Just say NO
Just saying “no” to things that don’t move your plan forward will give you the time you need to make the moves you believe you don’t have time for now. It’s all about staying focused and not getting distracted by everyone else’s vision.
Sometimes you need support to stay on course. As a coach, I am my clients’ accountability and strategic thinking partner. I support them with staying focused, implementing strategies for their future vision. It is easy to let the day-to-day challenges of your organization distract you from building for the future. I am often the key to helping my clients make time and space to lay the foundation for their next level in a way that allows them to see consistent progress over time. I am also their biggest fan and cheerleader, supporting their clarity of thought and action. If you need this kind of support to help you move your vision forward, click here to schedule a strategy session with me to talk about coaching.