Success = Inspiring Leader + Engaged Team + Clear Plan

planWe often find ourselves overwhelmed; feeling that there is too much to do; that success might just be beyond our reach this time.

Which then causes us to be become uninspired and our teams to become disengaged.

It’s hard to buy into a goal when we are feeling overwhelmed, and not sure which way to go.

But being overwhelmed is not about having too much work to do. It’s more to do with the fact that we don’t know where to start. We have too many options and we do not know which one to pick.

But it’s hard to realise that our real problem is we, or our teams, just don’t know where to start.

We’ve all had that can’t see the forest for the trees feeling, and it is one that holds many of us back from being successful.

As leaders we need to take a step back, try and see the bigger picture, and come up with a simple plan. We might not be able to come up with the full plan right away, but we can at least figure out where the right starting place is, so that we can at least start to make some progress.

One of my mentors always says when we start the journey, the map will appear.

So sometimes we just need to pick any topic and dive in. With this approach, by at least staring something, we will either see that we are making progress and should continue, or that we have chosen the wrong topic and we need to stop and choose something else.

For many people this approach works, and in the absence of any other approach it’s one we should consider.

Personally, I like to have the bigger picture in place, I like to see the key building blocks, the stepping stones, not necessarily all of the small details, but enough to know my route to success.

One of the approaches I have used when I find myself in this situation, of being overwhelmed, is I ask myself ‘ok, if you only had a 1/4 of the time to complete this task what would you do?”

Now this seems like a crazy question, because when your overwhelmed, less time is not really something you would think would be of benefit. But what I find is that when I play this game, it allows me to focus and figure out what is really essential, and more importantly what’s not.

It allows me to plot the stepping stones, and figure out where I need to start.

Once I have that, then I can become inspired. It’s impossible to be inspiring if you are not inspired. So this is a great step to help get my team engaged.

So now I feel inspired, and I have a clear high level big picture plan – which I believe in – and that I can share with the team. And when you have an inspired leader with a clear plan, its very easy to get our teams engaged.

When I share the high level plan, I usually find that my team can help validate that plan and also add some of the details., which gets them involved, which increases engagement further.

Which now means we have an inspiring leader, an engaged team and a clear plan, which is all we need to be successful.

But it all starts with the plan.

If you don’t have a plan, it’s hard to become inspired; it’s hard to create engagement; and it’s damned near impossible to be successful.

So what are you doing to create your plan!

Do you have a plan for your project, your business, your personal goals?

If not contact and set up a strategy session to look to get you started on the road to success.


Inc. Magazine Top 100 Leadership Expert