Jim Rohn is one of my all-time favourite mentors. His “Challenge to Succeed” from the early nineties continues to be a game changer for my wife Megan and I. Rohn drops wisdom bomb after wisdom bomb. Just one of those is “Make measurable progress in reasonable time.” I take that to mean we must take the right amount of time to get the right things done, and no more. Rohn goes on to say “When is the right time to measure?” the conclusion?
- At the end of the day.
- At the end of the week.
- At the end of the month.
I would add,
- At the end of the quarter.
- At the end of the year.
Leadership requires intentionality and intentionality requires discipline. The discipline to stop and look back to learn the lessons and then look forward with purpose and anticipation. A ninety-day cycle is an excellent time to think through what worked, what didn’t and how you want it to be different for the next quarter.
Here’s how can you do this with focus, efficiency and the right outcome.
The Nine Questions – To help you nail the next quarter
In a recent breakfast with some super talented thought leaders, we navigated our reflection and planning based on the following three frames.
- Where am I strong?
- Where am I stuck?
- Where can I stretch?
This helped us in three ways. Firstly we were able to affirm what we did well and be celebrated. Secondly, we were able to acknowledge any area we haven’t made progress in and what might be underlying that. Lastly, we were able to consider what a preferred short term future looks like and see and feel the conviction and energy of that.
- When you know where you are strong and where you are stuck, you can understand your context and identify your challenge.
- When you know where you are strong and where you can stretch, you can pursue capability and deepen conviction.
- When you know where you are stuck and where you can stretch, you can clarify your perspective and double down your persistence.
To make the most of the next ninety days ask you self these nine questions:
Strong – Leveraging your superpower
- What worked well and why?
- Where are your energy and passion easily engaged right now?
- How can you give more of you at your best in the next ninety days?
Stuck – Naming your nemesis
- What have you procrastinated over and why?
- Are you knowing any self-sabotaging tendencies and where are they coming from?
- What's the one question you don’t want to be asked right now?
Stretch – Challenging your context
- What 3-5 actions when done will give you the highest payoff in 90 days time?
- Who do you have in your network who can bring you high support and high challenge?
- What can you write down, what only you know, that would wildly surpass anything done before?
Getting to done:
First pass is like drinking an espresso, look over it and jot down the things that come to the top of your mind. Secondly, treat it like a main meal, take your time, reflect, write, make sense of the thoughts and be truthful about what to acknowledge and what, to be honest about. The last pass is more like cheese and dessert wine put the finishing touches on your next ninety days and put the most important things in your diary, week by week. Treat all these things like an appointment that you must keep and enjoy both the sense of accomplishment from that and the cumulative results of your efforts.
Make the most of the next ninety days. You will be so pleased you did.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.