Planning for Success:
The First Ingredient
“It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
With these concepts in mind, let’s now turn to the Justwyn Model to illustrate how to use these three components — forethought, plan of action, and recognition — to plan your path to success. The planning process breaks down as follows:
Planning Phase(1): Forethought
- Defining the Objective.
- Completing a strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat analysis (SWOT).
Planning Phase(2): Plan of Action
- Defining and prioritizing the goals, benchmarks, and tasks that will achieve the objective.
Planning Phase(3): Recognition
- Recognizing the benefits from achieving each goal and benchmark.
PHASES OF THE PLANNING PROCESS
Using the Justwyn Model for Planning Goals, Benchmarks, and Tasks
Planning Phase(1): Forethought
The steps to complete this planning phase include the following:
- Define the objective, or your life achievement (completed in Part 2).
- Analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis).
The first step of this phase is answering the question, “What are you striving to achieve?” “What are your dreams?” You may have several objectives. That’s okay. But if you collected your dreams and merge them into one single objective, what would that objective be?
For example, say you plan to drive from New York City to Los Angeles. Los Angeles may be the end (life) objective; but along the way, you plan to visit sights in Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas. We take similar trips through life. We may want to go from Point-A to Point-Z. But along the way, we also may reach various points that make us smarter, richer, more famous, better looking, etc., before we actually achieve our life objective.
You begin defining your life objective by using the Justwyn Model: Defining the Objective as diagrammed. You can locate this form in the Appendix as Form-A (appendix.pdf). Your first step is to list your individual talents that set you apart (you completed this exercise in Part 2).
Let’s work with Dave Mansfield to complete this form. Dave’s talents include his political analytical skills, communication skills, and creative skills. He lists these talents on Appendix Form-A as diagrammed below.
Dave moves to Step 2 and defines his life objective. More than anything else, he wants to become the President of the United States. He enjoys political thought and discussion; he enjoys political management; and he enjoys the status that the office will bring. Dave believes he has the talents and skills to achieve this life objective.
After you define your life objective, move to the second part of the planning phase and complete a personal SWOT analysis (analyzing your S:Strengths-W:Weaknesses-O:Opportunities-T:Threats). You can use Appendix Form-B (appendix.pdf) to complete this exercise.
A SWOT analysis helps you to analyze your skills, knowledge, leverage with other people, competition, environment, personal idiosyncrasies, and so forth so that you can set the goals and character traits that will offset any imposing obstacles or threats.
Dave Mansfield wants to become the President. But after some disappointing starts, he has decided to re-map his strategy. The SWOT analysis will help him put together a plan by identifying the goals that capitalize on his strengths and opportunities; and equally important, develop the goals and character traits that will overcome his weaknesses and threats.
Dave begins his SWOT analysis by analyzing his strengths and weaknesses. He first list his skills, experience, and knowledge. Many of these strengths include his individual talents. Dave is intelligent, analytical, creative, and a good communicator. All are necessary ingredients of a prominent politician.
But on the opposing side, Dave lacks wealth, name recognition, leadership skills, deal making skills, and key important social skills. These traits and attributes impeded his progress. His lack of leadership and deal-making skills allowed more talented people to take advantage of him. Nobody cared for his articulation, honesty, and intelligence. He was stepped upon by more forceful people who, like him, are seeking the same White House address.
After analyzing his strengths and weaknesses, Dave reviews the opportunities that can become his advantage. He knows the “inside the Washington Beltway” as well as anyone. Leveraging his father’s contacts could help build credentials among people that know his character best. Also, Dave’s family is well liked in his small, Virginia community. Perhaps his political career should begin in a smaller setting. His grandfather was once a town official. Grandpa could certainly offer political points, and some votes, in Dave’s quest for grass-roots political experience.
It is important that Dave identifies the people who can help him in his quest. These individuals may be his best opportunities. For you personally, it may be the lending officer down the street who finances your new business, it may be the coach that helps in your training, or it may be the philanthropist that jump starts your campaign. Behind every success story are people who lent a hand, prompted an idea, and financially supported the achiever. Look to people to help achieve your goals and list them in your personal SWOT analysis. Much like Dave has done by listing his family’s connections.
Dave certainly has some great opportunities to exploit, but there are more imposing threats that can negate any advantage he now has. Dave faces threats from some big-name politicians, lawyers, academicians, etc., who are seeking the same prize. A Rockefeller or Kennedy name, for example, could swipe Dave completely from the political stage. There is also the dirty politics of money and corruption. These threats become strategic issues that Dave must find a way to negate an opponent’s advantage.
Dave’s SWOT analysis is now complete — for now. He will continue an on-going SWOT analyses as he works through his goals to keep him on a corrective course of action. Dave will now use the SWOT analysis to shape his goal plan.
End of BLOG Posting Exercise:
You will complete a similar SWOT analysis by completing the following steps:
1) Define your objective. What single accomplishment are you trying to achieve?
2) Identify personal strengths that will help you achieve the objective.
3) Identify weaknesses that could hinder your achievement.
4) List the opportunities that may help you achieve the objective.
5) Identify the current and foreseeable threats that could block your achievement.
Your completion of a SWOT analysis will help you plan the goals and tasks that will overcome your weaknesses and threats, and likewise pinpoint goals and tasks that utilize your strengths and opportunities. The SWOT analysis is a planning tool for constructing your personal Justwyn Model in the next section.
Next time: we will develop the Plan of Action
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