Ring in the New! Creating your 2020 Leadership Plan

“Leadership is having a compelling vision, a comprehensive plan, relentless implementation, and talented people working together.”
— Alan Mulally, former CEO of the Ford Motor Company

Happy New Year!  We hope you took the time for the 2019 reflection exercise from our last blog “Ring out the old! Ring in the New!”

It is now time to create your 2020 plan. We often start with resolution or goals, that go unfulfilled by the end of the year.  “Less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are achieved” according to University of Scranton Psychology Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D.  There are several reasons for this:  bad habits; sabotaging self-talk, for personal goals; lack of commitment on a team; lack of accountability; lack of a follow-up system to reinforce accountability; lack of support to get the “fast fail” and/or get back on track after a setback.  

Creating a successful year means getting clear on what you are really going for and identifying the fundamental motivations for your goals.  It is often helpful to find an accountability partner or create a  process or structure where you and/or the team have to status against the goals on a regular basis so you hold true to your goals, make real-time changes during the year, and/or fail fast and get back on track.  

Here are several areas for you to focus on both as an Individual leader and then as a team or department.  

1. Purpose: What is the reason you exist?  What are the contribution and legacy you are to have? We wrote more on “Purpose:  Why We Exist” in a previous blog.

2. Values: What are the standards or guiding principles by which you operate?  Our values help us create a clear purpose, help us grow and develop, communicate with conviction, and create the future we want to experience.

3. Vision: Create a clearly defined picture of what you aspire to be at a point in the future. Who will you be, who will be with you?  What will you be doing?  What will you have achieved?  Visualize it as if you already have it/are doing and being this Vision.  The ability to visualize and clearly and succinctly state a vision is a vital factor of successful leadership.  Helping others to see your vision helps them get on board with you.

4. Goals: What you need to achieve in the shorter term to achieve your vision in the long term?  Write your goal clearly and break it into smaller steps then create accountability for yourself such as having an accountability partner, an executive coach, a mentor, a peer support group or your team.  Create a compelling challenge and make it fun!  Also, what new habits do you need to create to achieve your goals?

5. Priorities:  What are the most important things you need to focus on to achieve your goals?

6. Roles:  Define what you must do to achieve the vision and goals, and who are the allies and supporters you need.

You may also want to complete your Professional Wheel of Life to assess what areas in your professional life need more focus for 2020 and create goals in your top three areas.

Our most successful clients are very clear each year about their Purpose, Values, Vision, Goals, Priorities, and Roles.  We remember one of our clients years ago telling us she had written a set of goals and posted them on the back of her office door (and hardly looked at them) but they had all come true.  The very act of writing them out (for her) helped her accomplish them.  Others do well by announcing to others what they are going to accomplish.  

Vividly describing your goals in written form is strongly associated with goal success, and people who vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals than people who don’t. (Mark Murphy)


We would love to support you in this exercise.   We would like to offer The Heffelfinger Company 2019 clients a free one-hour consult to help you create or revisit your values or help you begin to craft your vision.  Please contact either one of us (below) if you would like help “kick-starting” your year!  

Lead on!
Lori and James

James Jackman & Lori Heffelfinger
310-543-7632 office
lorih@heffelfingerco.com | james@heffelfingerco.com
www.heffelfingerco.com