Leadership lessons: tips for planning for a new year

“There’s no point setting goals if you don’t have a plan to get there.”

Another year is coming to a close, and many of us are planning some well earned time off. With the year’s end comes an opportunity to prepare for what’s ahead. We sat down with our chairman, Sam White, to find out how he’ll be planning for 2017.

Find the gaps.

“The first thing I’ll be doing is having a reflection of the year that’s been; what’s worked and what hasn’t. Going through this process shows me where the gaps in the business are.”

Sam’s tip: You can go a long way to identify the gaps in your business by looking at where ‘good’ looks somewhere else. Once you find the gaps; fix them by listing all the extra things you need to start doing.

Write a ‘stop doing’ list.

“More importantly than the start doing list, I write a stop doing list. These are all the tasks I either need to stop altogether or delegate to someone in the team.”

Sam’s tip: For all the things you don’t stop altogether but need to get off your plate so you can focus on your start doing list, you need to build capacity within your business. Perhaps it’s time to expand your team and hire new staff. It’s when you bring in new tasks but don’t delegate all the existing things to do when things start to go wrong.

Stick to a plan.

“I always have three or four gaps I need to focus on for the year. I break them down into projects. Then I write 90 day plans, and then I write two week spreads for those 90 day periods. These more detailed checklists cascade up into the three or four goals I have set.”

Sam’s tip: There’s no point setting goals if you don’t have a plan. Regularly review your plan - have the discipline to review every two weeks. Then you should assess your progress. If you are running out of time, it might be time to add to the stop doing. It’s important to identify what’s getting in the way of you achieving your goals.