Basic Skills for outstanding leadership 7 – Planning │© Fola Daniel Adelesi

Proper preparation, they say, prevents poor performance and that, I think, has in a great way shown us how important it is for people to plan for everything they are going to do. When you take a look at the society very well you will realize that if the government does not have something called town planning, the town that you live in would be a mess! It would be difficult for people to locate houses and parcels will not be delivered to their owners because they cannot be located. When couples do not plan properly they probably would begin to have children they did not bargain for and most likely may not be able to take care of. If you intend to build a house that you are going to live in and you do not plan properly for the building, you are most likely preparing your grave because a lot of precautions have to be taken when building a house starting from the right quality of materials to the adequate quantity. Planning in leadership, as in many other things of life, cannot be disregarded or taken with levity because a strong leadership can be built on plans.
I think I can describe a plan as the comprehensive activities or actions to be taken in order to accomplish a goal. Following that definition, you will need to master the art of planning as a leader. You must understand how to carefully prepare activities or draw up actions that must be taken in order to achieve what you intend to achieve. The only big difference here is that you are not planning as an individual but as a leader and that means whatever you are planning involves the lives and future of some other people. You will then have to learn how to plan with people in mind and as well planning with the people involved.
To plan with people in mind is to prepare plans that favour not just the organization but the people, create plans that not only you can work with but that the other people can work with as well and to ensure that while all the plans are being executed all the people involved in the plan have something to benefit in one way or the other. If you intend to build a successful organization, what’s the plan to build the organization or how do you want to build the organization. I think there are questions your plan should answer and let’s presume that what you want to do is to build a successful organization. In that case, you will have to answer the following questions with a plan: What organization do you want to build?
What will the organization be doing or what solution is the organization providing to the society?
When do you want to start building the organization and when do you want to start providing the solution? What will you need to build the kind of organization that you have in mind?
Who are the kinds of people that can work with you in the organization to build your dream organization? How will you raise money?
What will you be selling?
There are loads of questions you can ask yourself and answering all the questions successfully will eventually lead to a concrete plan. I think that one vital skill that you will need in the art of planning is the ability to ask the right questions! Once you know how to constantly ask the right questions, you will find yourself solving problems even before they become real problems and that will keep you ahead of other leaders.
I must say that as a leader, when you create a plan detailing what you are going to do, you should never see your plan as a perfect plan. We all are not perfect and there is no way we can have a so called perfect plan. One of the things you will need to do is to ask the opinion of others on your plan and as I said earlier, you may really consider planning with other people in mind or getting them involved in the plan. When you get people involved in a plan that you are creating for them it will be easy for them to buy into the plan and follow you through the plan’s process until it is accomplished.
In planning, you will be looking out for what strengths you have as a team or as an organization and then as a leader. When you know all of those strengths then you need to be asking questions as to where you can make use of those strengths. I should also say that when you have some strengths that you do not seem to need there may be no reason to keep them. What you can do is to call for such strengths when they are needed. Having the kinds of strengths that you do not need as a leader is like having a star-studded football team that has great difficulties working together even though the team is filled with individual stars! As some people say in human resources, staff your weaknesses! I also think that in planning, you have to plan for your weaknesses and be sure that it’s not your weaknesses that will hold your organization to ransom!
We cannot overemphasize the importance of planning and we must start everything with a plan, continue with a plan and also sustain with a plan! Keep planning as a leader because planning is one of the best ways to improve on what you have! If you do not plan you cannot get better and as some others have said, ‘when you fail to plan you have planned to fail.’ Master the art of planning but never get into the error of thinking that your plan is the master!
Fola Daniel Adelesi
fola-daniel – Skype
@foladaniel – Twitter
Fola Daniel Adelesi
fola-daniel – Skype
@foladaniel – Twitter
+234 803 416 3006
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