Planning for Success:
The First Ingredient
“It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We left off in our last post discussing the SWOT analysis — this is where you analyze your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to developing your success plan.
Planning Phase(2): Developing the Plan of Action
The second phase of the planning cycle identifies and prioritizes the goals, benchmarks, and tasks required to achieve the objective. You will use three different Justwyn Models to complete this phase. These models are identified below:
Level (I) — the Justwyn Model for goal planning.
Level (II) — the Justwyn Model for benchmark planning.
Level (III) — the Justwyn Model for task planning.
We can summarize these Justwyn Models graphically as follows:
- Level I: Goal Planning
Define and write the objective in the pinnacle section of the Justwyn Model. Then identify, prioritize, and arrange in hierarchical layers the goals that will achieve the objective.
- Level II: Benchmark Planning:
Take each respective goal from Level (I) and identify, prioritize, and arrange in hierarchical layers the benchmarks (or sub-goals) that will achieve the goal.
- Level III: Task Planning:
List the major task(s) that will achieve each respective benchmark. You will complete this planning step in later post when you assign goals and bench marks for execution. In this posting, I will demonstrate how this is done.
We begin with Level (I) by writing the objective in the pinnacle section of the model. Let’s help Dave Mansfield with his goal planning to illustrate these concepts — you will use this similar process in designing your own plan. His objective is to become the “President of the United States.” We will use the Justwyn Model for goal planning (appendix.pdf) to complete this step.
After writing the objective in the model’s pinnacle, we turn to the SWOT analysis completed earlier to identify the goals that will achieve the objective. You may stumble a little on identifying all of the goals required to achieve your objective. Remember, however, that the goals, benchmarks, and tasks identified in your plan will change as you progress through your plan. So to begin this process, try to strategically think of the goals that will best achieve your objective with the understanding that some of these goals may change later.
For Dave Mansfield , we find from his SWOT analysis that Dave lacks name recognition. He has no wealth, no family name, and no great accomplishment to-date that will propel him above many other better-known candidates. So the goal, “Name Recognition,” becomes an important goal that Dave will need to achieve.
We find after reviewing Dave’s strengths that he has communication skills like public speaking and writing. These two skills allow him to present ideas in front of audiences that could qualify him as bona fide presidential prospect. What Dave needs is the opportunity to speak before groups and more importantly, the platforms to present his arguments. So the goals, “Speaking Circuit” and “Political Philosophy/Publications,” become two additional goals that will go into his plan.
The opportunities living in a small Virginia community offer an important platform to launch Dave’s political career. He should therefore place “Community Involvement” and “Community Leadership” as two other important goals.
All of these goals identified — name recognition, speaking circuit, political philosophy/publications, community involvement, and community leadership — require support from less recognizable goals, such as the development and enhancement of his writing skills, speaking skills, analytical skills and his achievement of a undergraduate and law degrees. These and other goals such as big-time lawyer, political office, political leadership, and presidential campaign complete Dave’s identification of goals. He lists them using the Justwyn Model for goal planning illustrated below:
Remember that the goals listed are not set in stone. They can change later in life when other opportunities materialize. What Dave now has is a framework to begin his travel to success.
The number of goals that will achieve your objective may vary depending on the complexity of the objective. Note that having too few goals may not encompass everything that will achieve your objective. And having too many goals may lose sight of what you are seeking to accomplish. Try to limit your identification to a maximum of 14 goals.
Your next step after defining the goals is to prioritize them in hierarchical layers using the Justwyn Model for goal planning. Prioritizing your goals is a ranking process that forces you to achieve goals in hierarchical order.
For example, Dave will need to develop and achieve the goal Writing Skills before he can successfully achieve his goal Political Philosophy/Publications. Likewise, he will need to complete the goal Undergraduate Degree before he can pursue the goal Law Degree / Bar Exam. These two goals, including three others — Community Involvement, Analytical Skills, and Communication Skills — are generalized goals.
Dave places these goals on the bottom layer of the model to support the more specialized goals higher up the hierarchy.
The process basically requires that the first layer of goals will need to be achieved, or partially achieved, before you can effectively achieve the goals on the second layer. And likewise the second layer of goals will need to be achieved, or partially achieved, before you can effectively achieve the goals on the third layer, etc.
The key word here is effectively. Once you feel you have effectively achieved goals on one layer, you work to achieve the goals on the next layer. This achievement process is much like building a pyramid — you start by building the first layer, second layer, third layer, etc., until you reach the pinnacle of the pyramid.
The number of goals required to achieve the objective may vary; meaning that you may have more or less than 14 goals. If you have less than 14 goals, leave one or more stones blank near the top of the pyramid, or merge the stones together as illustrated later in this chapter. If you identify more than 14 goals, combine a goal with another goal. Try to arrange the stones (goals) to form a perfect pyramid.
Note that some of the goals in the model are continue-in-progress goals (italic depiction). Continue-in-progress goals are goals that are continuously being developed. They have no definite end. The goal writing skills is a prime example. The goal will always be worked on, perhaps with less intensity, as you work up the model. College education, on the other hand, is a goal that finishes when you receive your degree — there is nothing new to be achieved. The goals that you identify as continue-in-progress goals is your call.
Next time: we will turn our discussion to Level II: Benchmark Planning
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