Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Understand Who You Are Today So You Can Plan For Tomorrow - Part 2

Now that you have expanded your scope to include all roles within your life, their relative priorities, identified what you spend your time on and the GAPs that exist, your ready to start planning.

Many of the salespeople I meet have a narrower focus when planning which leads to conflicts between their professional and personal life. Choices need to made with a complete view of your life so you can understand the impact of choices on other aspects of your life. Based on the impact areas and their relative importance to you, an appropriate decision can be made relative to what you should be doing or need to stop doing. For example, if you make a professional decision without first consider the impact to your wife and children than the consequences can be significant if family is important to you. I actually know a sales director who made a decision to forego a major promotion a few years ago as it require him to relocate to Singapore which was not in alignment with his life/family plan. In consideration of his wife, children, siblings, etc... he decided family was of a higher importance than the opportunity presently available. He has no regrets and he actually was promoted to a similar role the following year without the relocation. "Work to live not live to work!"


  1. Review the end game of each role. Where would you like to be in the future and how would you want to be remember relative to that role. What kind of father I want to be for example. A father who was influential in the lives of his children who is perceived as a trusted advisor, teacher, mentor, and a friend.
  2. Work backwards from the end game by establishing what needs to be accomplished to attain the desired results relative to the reality today. This will help define the feasibility based on time, resource, financial inputs required. The first time I did this exercise I quickly realized that the only way I could accomplish everything I wanted was if the hours within a day significantly increase. 
  3. Refine or expand your list to reflect your reality. I grew up wanting to be many things in life including a master martial artist but relative to my roles and priorities and the time commitment required, it became a nice to have. This does not mean you give up your ambitions or wants but it has to be within contexts of reality. I joined a local martial arts school with a good reputation and a program for young children which I attend with my son. I may not become a master like in the movies I watched growing up but I will be the kind of father I intend to be which in much more important. This also gives my wife some free time for herself which she deserves, it is an activity which my niece and nephews will also be joining, etc... in alignment with my others roles.
  4. Once you have completed this exercise across all roles and refined the list based on the reality, then segment the task and activities relative to various time increments. 25 years, 10 years, 5 years, 3 years, and 1 year. I personally break down my yearly to a quarterly basis as I feel I have a better execution to plan based on this timeframe.

This will allow you to focus on what you need to do today to work towards your desired end goals within the right roles of your life. Always test decision against your plan to make sure they are in alignment.

Death, taxes and change are unavoidable. This is a life practice and you will have to incrementally check back, revise or completely change this plan based on the reality of that moment in time.

Back to sales and development. One of the objectives of this individual within his professional role was to become VP of Sales within 10 years for his current employer. The exercise is the same as applied to the others roles. Go to market and review demanded education, experience, and skills for similar type positions. See if a job description for the role within your company is also available. Understand the GAPs based on your reality today and build a personal development plan to acquire the skills, experience and education to meet the requirements and desired skill set. Break the down the task and activities based on the timeframes that are relative. 10 Years, 5 years, 3 years, and a 1 year plan for example. Identify what you can do today to start working towards your goal/objective. Make sure the approach is feasible against the other roles within your life and begin your quest as part of this journey which is life!

Link to the first part of this post:

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