Leadership optimize

One of my favorite success tools

Executive leadership coach John M. McKee discusses a tool that was created for organizations and shares how to apply it to ensure your career is successful.

All the studies and every bit of empirical evidence make it clear -- if you want to do better, make a plan. Not many people would disagree with that statement.

So, do you have one? If yes, is it clearly detailed and defined? My guess is the answer is no.

I say that because I've been asking people the same question for nearly 20 years. During all that time, the percentage of people who say they have a plan has remained very low.

Companies are better; most have some form of plan. It seems like when people are getting paid to do it, they realize how important it is. But for their personal lives, those same people never seem to get around to it. If you fall in that group -- the ones who don't have a written plan for their life -- I suggest you take some time to create one. It doesn't have to take a long time.

A great place to start is with an analysis of your strengths and your weaknesses. Next, do a review of the opportunities in your life (now and in the future). Then, finally, consider all the threats that could prevent your from being successful. This type of review, called a SWOT analysis, was originally conceived by Albert Humphrey. Humphrey was, during the second half of the last century, one of the first professional business consultants working for Fortune 500 Companies.

If you've never spent some solid time focused on the planning of your career or your personal life, you're leaving too much to chance (or, perhaps to the caring attention of your supervisor).

My advice is to set aside some time to create a SWOT analysis for your life. To help you get moving, here is one of our PowerTools . It was created for clients of Business Success Coach a few years back and has proven very valuable.

Take a little time to look after yourself -- it could save you a lifetime of problems.

John

About

John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion d...

5 comments
vmagan
vmagan

What does SWOT stand for? I have never heard this term used before. Thanks

S. K. Kak
S. K. Kak

SWOT is great, as it helps you to know your self and define your current state, but how does one get help from SWOT in navigating through this chaotic world of ours- just through your own analysis? The smart person has to lookout for challenges and convert them into opportunities. Those who are really the top of the top do not even wait for the challenges but they create opportunities where none exit, they look at the future and foresee the coming events and formulate plans to be ready to deal with them. Then again we have those who discover the unknown and formulate a totally new path for the human race. So success comes to those who evaluate the world around, dynamically adjust their own self to master the circumstances, and make this world a better place for others to follow.

pivert
pivert

I think a plan is not a swot... A plan can change daily when new opportunities open or doors close. A plan imo makes you blind to the trip "life" is. But perhaps I'm part of the Ferris Bueller generation :-)

vmagan
vmagan

got it. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats Thanks anyway and great article!

ian
ian

This is where most people fail. They build a plan/swot - and that's it. A plan must be continually evaluated to be effective. strength - will it still be a strength if I don't keep it honed? weakness - is my weakness an impossibility or can it become a strength through opportunity? opportunities - not everyone sees a problem as an opportunity. This could be an ah ha!! moment. (necessity is the mother of invention) Threat - something that may have a negative impact and you may not have control over. In DR and BC planning this is called a business impact analysis (BIA). In life the concept is the same, self analysis, impact analysis, solution design, solution implementation. but it has to be continual to be effective irrespective of whether you call it a plan or a swot.