Jun 12, 2011

Communicating your "Longterm" plans

I was asked this question under two different circumstances this weekend and as I articulated my plans to two different people, I realized that having and communicating ones long-term plans is very essential in life - both personally and professionally.

There are two kinds of people - one who makes their long-term goals and plans public and then there are the other type, who keep their plans to themselves. Both have their reasons and there is no one right or wrong way. Obviously I am not counting the many who do not have a term goal or it is not structured enough to be articulated.

As a "leader" (or the Head of your group, family, tribe, company), communicating your long term goals is very important to your constituents. The followers build their own identity and their own goals based on the vision and goals of the leader. One of the distinguishing characteristics of a leader is the ability to have and set this vision. Unlike many people, successful leaders are not afraid to spell out their goals. They put in place a set of actions to execute their plan. They are not afraid of failure. The risks associated with the plan are mitigated and life is managed as a project. Contingency plans are constantly created. Generally CEOs are able to openly communicate large and lofty plans for the company, however when it comes to personal life goals, most people are lot more reserved (especially if the goals are extra-ordinary).

This clarity is required for the family as well. Two working parents and growing children with education needs require an equal amount of planning and alignment of the personal plans of all family members is important. Everyone has to therefore communicate their long-term plans openly.