The world is always changing and our circumstances change as well. In terms of our working life or careers, we will experience a number of challenges over this time. Some of the challenges you may we be familiar with are things like stagnation. This is the feeling that we are doing the same things over and over again and not making any kind of progress. Maybe you feel overlooked for that next step. It could be you are stressed and anxious in your role as more and more pressure builds up or maybe you seriously dislike your boss and that is a key root cause of stress. Maybe you are bored with your job or seek a complete change of career. Whatever the situation that you are unhappy with, it can be changed. The way to start to think about your strategy is to first ascertain what is the “current state”. That is, evaluation of your current circumstances. What is good, what is bad. What do you wish to change!
When we think about a personal strategy it can be broken down into simple steps. Once you have identified the current state, the next step is to identify the “future state” or vision for your future. This next chapter of your career or working life has not yet been written. This is where you can use your personal strategic tool, your imagination. This is where you form a vision of the future, a favourable position. Something to aspire to, a future worth living. A career or job that fits your strengths, values and passion. What would you be doing and how would it feel if you were working in a role that was perfect for you? What kind of people would be working alongside you, what kind of boss would you have? What skills would you be using? How would you feel if you could make a living from doing something that you loved and it didn’t feel like work?
Having traversed through the first two steps, the next step is to build your strategic plan. This is, how are you going to get from A to B. A word of caution. Have you ever set a goal that you have achieved, only to discover, it wasn’t what you wanted all along? This is where the spear model will help you to transform your thinking. In order to be sure about the destination, we must first understand why that is the best destination. To do this, we must study ourselves, identify our strengths and preferences. Research suggests that when we work with our natural intelligence, our strengths and our preferences, we are more productive, perform at a higher level and are much happier in the process. We are more likely to get better results!
At this stage, it is more important to think strategically about the destination, than the journey to get there. If you imagine driving down the road above, it is straight and you can see where you are going. However, the road will change with bends and twists and of course, it will also go dark. Whilst you can turn on the headlights, you have a limited view of where you are heading. But you have enough sight of the direction of travel to enable you to get to your destination. You may not have the entire plan in place, moreover, it will unfold whilst on the journey. In other words, whilst you have a planned strategy to take you from A to B, some of this plan will emerge as you go along.
The key to this journey is making sure the destination of choice is the right place for you. The key to this, is to align your goal to your values, passion and purpose.
Understanding what you truly value in life, what drives you, how you are motivated and what is your higher purpose are key factors for keeping you focused and determined and resilient in order to stay on the journey.
Once we have a strategic direction, clear goal that is aligned to our values, we can start to work on the next step. This is to evolve who we are. The first rule of transformation, is first you must change. You cannot get different results by doing the same things over and over. Once you know the destination, you must identify what skills, competence, attributes and qualities are required for you to reach this destination and attain what you really want. Here you will develop micro goals as to how you will develop specific skills and competence that will be required for you to attain your overarching goal.
The next step is the most critical step. Without taking this step, nothing will change. This next step is to take action. This will involve doing something new, something for the first time, something where you may not be confident or knowledge around. You will have to step out of your comfort zone in order to grow. As part of your progress towards you new goal or even the smaller goals, you will have to take direct action. In taking direct action we are then best place to use the final step to reflect on the above. You see, when we take a form of action, we get feedback. It is this feedback that directs our next steps which gives a sense of an emergent strategy. It unfolds as we go.
If you have really had enough of the current situation, you can change it. I did. If you are truly ready to change and willing to commit the time and effort to your future. To make sure that you are never in this situation ever again, you can make any transformation necessary using the SPEAR model.
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