Success in leadership is often dictated by one’s ability to focus on higher-level ideas and strategy. What often separates a successful leader from a failure is his or her ability to free themselves from the medial tasks that keep them chained to small ideas and thoughts. Creating a personal success plan will give you the freedom to focus on what really matters.
A truly gifted leader does not bog himself down with meaningless tasks but preserves his talents for high level, high impact projects. I realize that Tony Stark is a fictional character in a comic strip and movies but I can’t help but notice how great of a leader he is at times. I like to think we too can be as cool, confident, and successful as Tony Stark. What’s more, I believe we can, if only we’ll spend the time to create a personal success plan.
Stark Industries is a global company that brings in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. At the top of the food chain is Mr. Tony Stark. I’ve watched all the films featuring Iron Man and not once have I ever seen Tony making an invoice, spending hours reading his email, or counting widgets in a warehouse. No, I see Tony Stark deciding which missile projects to pursue, spurring the creation of the world’s most innovative weapons, and redirecting the company toward renewable energy. Perhaps, these are a part of his personal success plan.
How many times have you created incredible growth for your company by checking your email? Yet, many executives perform this task for hours on end every day with little to no impact on the company. This is simply work for work’s sake. Without a personal growth plan, you’re set astray, wondering the vast inbox searching for something that’ll flip a switch and get you headed in the right direction. After all, isn’t that the allure of the inbox, that something amazing might come in?
To really achieve great success as a person in a leadership role, you’ll need to create your own personal success plan. You can do so by following these five simple steps:
Eliminate – What 20% of the things you do create 80% of your success as a leader? This is Maxwell’s Law of Priorities. Ask yourself, what is required (Or in other words, what MUST you do that no one else can do for you)? What gives the greatest return? And finally, what brings the greatest reward?
Delegate – Learn to let go. If you performed step one correctly, you’ll now have to rid yourself of 80% of the things you used to do. Learn to delegate without fear and free yourself! This is the step most people stumble on when creating a personal success plan.
Create a Life Plan – Dorothy Canfield Fisher says “If we would only give the same amount of reflection to what we want out of life that we give to the question of what to do with two weeks’ vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days.” She’s dead right. Do yourself a favor and set aside 2 hours to read and complete Michael Hyatt’s Creating Your Personal Life Plan.
Increase Your Productivity – In a world where “there’s an app for that” it is easier and faster now to do almost anything. I’ve provided you with a few of my favorite productivity apps here. We all have 24 hours in a day, the best leaders use their 24 wisely and learn to squeeze the most out of them. Now that you’ve narrowed your activities down to the ones that create the most results, begin to do them better.
Create a Cocoon – I don’t care how good you are at what you do, you’re not going to get anything done if you’re constantly interrupted. There are many ways to find yourself some focused time to get things done and I suggest use at least a few. You can schedule a meeting with yourself (I do this), turn off everything around you and lock your door (guilty!), or even disappear from the office for a few hours and work in a Starbuck (you guessed it, I’ve actually done this). I’ve written two posts to help you find the time to get things done. Here they are – The Office Is Killing You and Creative Cocoon of Productivity.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. What sets apart a great leader from a failed leader is their ability to maximize their impact by minimizing the impact the world around them has on their time. Using these steps to create your own personal success plan is critical to you becoming the leadership professional you long to be.
How can you benefit from creating your own personal success plan?