I've offered you a free book for some time now
(see below). The article this month entitled
"Fail-Safe Leadership", is a review of the book so you can see
what it's about. I hope you will call to get your free
The Best Way to Predict Your Future is to Create It - Step
5 we conclude our discussion of the Strategic
Planning process. Step five is about determining and
setting goals and defining Action Steps.
JMK Associates exists to help people and
organizations be more successful by helping them
plan strategically and develop the leadership skills needed to
achieve their full potential.
Not happy with where you are? Give me a call and
"Definiteness of purpose is the
starting point of all achievement."
Mike Keesee, PMP
President & CEO
|Fail-Safe Leadership Book Review|
What is a Leader?
by Mike Keesee
any person a
leader is his or her ability to set goals and achieve desired
results - nothing more, nothing less." Linda L. Martin, Dr.
David G. Mutchler, Fail-Safe Leadership.
We've quoted Warren Bennis before. In his
book, Managing People Is Like Herding Cats, he says that,
"Around the globe, we currently face . . . a
deepening leadership crisis in organizations. Unlike the possibility
of plague or nuclear holocaust, the leadership crises will
probably not become the basis for a best-seller or a
blockbuster movie, but in may ways it is the most urgent and
dangerous of the threats we fact today, if only because it is
insufficiently recognized and little understood."
Fred Fiedler and Martin Chemers, two other
leadership gurus, in their book, Improving
Leadership Effectiveness, they state,
"The quality of leadership, more than any
other single factor, determines the success or failure of an
And Brian Tracy, a very well known leadership
author and speaker, in The 100 Absolutely
Unbreakable Laws of Business Success, points out that,
"Leadership is the most important single
factor in determining business success or failure in our
competitive, turbulent, fast-moving economy."
He goes on to say there has never been a
greater need for leaders at all levels than there is
The book, Fail-Safe Leadership, quotes
these authors to point out the importance of leadership in
today's competitive, rapidly changing business world. But what is a
authors of Fail-Safe Leadership make the case that
"Leadership is no longer about possessing certain
characteristics, but rather about the ability to set goals and
achieve desired results". They go on to define a
"results-based" model that focuses on defining results first,
and then developing leaders to achieve those
Most leadershp development processes use this
The model proposed by Martin and Mutchler looks like
The reader will be hard put to
argue the logic of a results oriented model that starts with a
vision of what's to be accomplished, followed by a plan for
achieving that vision, then implemented by defining and
achieving goals required to execute that plan. (Just what
we've been developing in the multi-part article in this
newsletter entitled The Best Way to Predict Your Future is
to Create It!)
the most important point the book makes is that if leadership
is about getting results, the skills required to get results
can be learned.
Leaders are not born, they are made. Skills can be
learned. This is good news to us all.
This little book is a quick read and will cause
you to think about leadership skills in a new and positive
way. Given the
critical need for good leadership skills in all areas of
society today, it will be well worth your while to spend an
hour or so with this book.
I'll be glad to give you a
copy. Just give me a call. Or email me at email@example.com and I'll give you a
information, visit our website.
|The Best Way to Predict the Future is to
Create It - Step 5!|
"Ah, but a man's
reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven
In the last edition, The Best Way to
Predict the Future is to Create It - Step 4
examined your strengths and weaknesses in preparation for
defining the goals you need to set in order to accomplish your
Mission Statement on the way towards achieving your
Vision. We examined the Structure and Function of your
organization, the Resources you have to work with, your
Products and Services (what you have to offer to your
customers), and finally, the Support you provide both
your customers and your own staff. Now, we are ready to
put all this together and define the goals we need to set and
achieve in order to accomplish our mission.
We said one way to do this is to compare each
strength against each opportunity and threat that we
identified during our Internal and External
analysis. We make a list of things that could be
done to leverage the strength to either maximize the
opportunity or minimize the threat. Then we do the same
thing for weaknesses. Each weakness is compared
against each opportunity and threat to make a list of
things that you could to do mitigate the weakness against the
opportunity or threat. From this analysis, we will
identify several areas in which we will want to improve.
We will call these Critical Goal Categories.
Critical Goal Categories
Critical Goal Categories (CGC's) are broad categories
that will serve as the foundation for actualizing the
mission. They will be broken down into specific actions
that are necessary and sufficient to achieve your Mission
Statement. Whatever the CGS's are, they need to be
specific to the mission of your business.
For example, an manufacturer of office supplies
discovered during the External Assessment that a major shift
was taking place in his market. Markets were shifting
from retail stores to national speciality "superstores" and
mail order houses. So some of their CGC's included
packaging changes to suit the merchandising strategy of the
superstores and mail order houses. Also, CGC's included
new sales strategies for contacting these new customers.
Another example is an industrial manufacturer who
discovered during their Internal Appraisal and External
Assessment a need to move into a new market segment. Two
of their CGC's involved hiring marketing and sales managers
who had experience in these market segments. They also
defined a CGC for increasing technical service.
As part of their Internal Assessment, a service
department in a retail store discovered a limitation in
management skills. They defined a CGC to improve
You get the picture. Ideally, a company should have
no more than five to eight CGC's. There needs to be a
caution against having a "trivial many" instead of a "critical
Is it possible that in the above examples, the companies
would have discovered the needed changes without the rigor of
a structured Strategic Planning process? Possibly.
But the discoveries may have been to late. At the very
least, if discovered at all, they would have missed some
business opportunities. A structured Strategic Planning
process makes the discoveries up front when you can maximize
the effectiveness of taking appropriate action.
CGC's are broad categories and general in nature.
They are not the goals themselves. Specific goals must
now be defined in order for this process to be
useful. There may be one goal per CGC or there may be
multiple goals per CGC.
To help define goals that will be useful in our plan to
achieve our mission, we need to make the goals SMART.
They must be Specific,
Realistically high, and Time
definable (must be done by). Specific so it's clear what
must be done. Measurable so it's clear it has been
done. Achievable - no need so set impossible
goals. Realistically high so that the goal means
something. And Time definable so it can be
scheduled. Remember, goals are to help us work smarter,
Defining Action Steps is the last step in the
planning. Once this is done, we can begin to execute
(You thought we'd never get here, didn't you?). Each
goal must be "broken down" into a defined action that can be
assigned to someone to do. An action step
includes three elements; What, Who, and When. What
- what's specifically is to be done, Who -who is assigned the
task, and When - when they are required to complete
These three elements when defined for all the tasks
required to reach the goal become a plan - a project plan
if you will. Each goal can be thought of as a
project which when completed, get us one step closer to
achieving our Mission Statement.
A Business Plan
Actually, the set of plans that represent all the goals
in the CGC's can be thought of as The Business Plan. If
successfully executed, and if the CGC's were accurately
defined, successful achievement of the defined
mission is almost a certainty - well, as certain
as anything can be in business.
JMK Associates has two structured strategic planning
processes for business. The Entrepreneurial Thinking
and Strategic Planning process is designed specifically
for entrepreneurial enterprises. The Executive
Strategic Planning process is designed for more mature
organizations who may or may not already have a strategic plan
in place but need to review or perhaps do it over.
All good leaders read. I have a book I'd like to
give you - free! The title is Fail-safe
There is a review of it on my website,
. All you have
to do is call me to receive your copy. My phone numbers
are 770 943 3657, or 678 773
JMK Associates LLC
770 943 3657
678 773 8036 (cell)
770 943 1450 (fax)