What’s your plan?

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By Kirk McCarley

What’s your plan?

Fire, Ready, Aim… We’ve heard the condescending command used to describe an approach that while enthusiastic, lacks direction. There’s the new outfit we just had to have, now in the closet, shrouded in mothballs. Travel reservations made for the family vacation now conflicting with nearly everyone’s calendar. A capital expenditure for your work or business…unbudgeted.

Facilitating a strategic planning business roundtable recently exposed me to the inner elements of several diverse small proprietorships. Each was a fascinating enterprise representing an array of talents, abilities, and passions. Energy and enthusiasm among group members was high.

In our sessions I learned more about business plans. Some enterprises possessed sophisticated plans defining their vision and mission and touched upon the values they hoped to espouse. Others with shorter legacies were evolving, accelerating growth that brought daily challenges and presented the more fundamental objectives to satisfy demand and collect fair and timely remuneration.

Whether one owns or works in a small business, goes to school, or enjoys retirement who doesn’t reap benefits from foresight?

Recently my wife Cindy and I hosted one of our nieces and several of her Texas college co-ed friends for supper during their Spring Break. Each of the young ladies was an upperclassmen beginning to at least contemplate existence beyond the sanctuary of university life.

During the evening, the  conversation turned to coursework, majors, and real world application of studies. One young lady was majoring in education. Two others were focused on languages and international businesses. One pursued social work, another graphic design.

Though none had quite yet formulated an advanced career plan, beginning strategies were emerging. The education major had a vision of being a second grade teacher. Another woman sensed a calling towards international mission work to assist those in developing countries apply certain vocational skills. The dreamers discussed collaborative endeavors. Unspoken among the contingent, yet likely subliminally communicated, were thoughts of romance, marriage, and their own families.

Though their plans are primitive now, they will advance. The future teacher will establish a goal to do some student teaching. Her objective will be to complete that task by a specific date next year. She also aims to begin her career in one of two metro areas. In order to effectuate that end, her “to do” list might include:

  • Contact her school’s career placement office by the first day of the fall semester.
  • Identify hiring authorities in school districts in her desired location, again by a fixed date.
  • Network with parents, friends, friends’ parents, former teachers, current teachers, etc. in an effort to make a positive connection.

Perhaps the most important overriding consideration in whatever they plan is that it lines up with their basic values. In seeking employment, you most likely want to work for someone with high work ethics. If your mission is to buy a car, you seek value and integrity. Those entering a partnership, whether it’s business or marriage, will be inclined to navigate towards others with compatible belief systems.

Since the beginning of time, immemorial plans have been a part of our existence.  Lest we forget, we are reminded in Proverbs 29:18 that “where there is no vision, the people perish…”  Further, The Master Planner Himself tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11.

What’s your plan? How does it fit your dreams, values, beliefs, vision, and mission?

A graduate of the University of North Texas, Kirk McCarley is a Certified Professional Coach as well as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and SHRM-CP Certified. He also is a Production Assistant for both college football and basketball for ESPN and leads group cycling classes as a Certified Spinning instructor. Contact kirk@theseedsowercoach.com, theseedsowercoach.com, or call  314-677-8779.