Your best decision in 2021 is to avoid making any resolutions. 2020 proved that annual resolutions are a waste of time. If you learn from experience, you know that the Coronavirus pandemic rendered resolutions useless. Some resolutions like traveling to new places became difficult to attain.
In these dynamic TUNA – turbulent, uncertain, novel, and ambiguous – times, you need to embrace priorities. As the new year starts, what are your two or three priorities to guide your decision making? Start by brainstorming or using any such tool for idea generation.
The easiest one is to ask a simple question and write all possible answers. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Write a strategic challenge or problem in your life that you would want to solve by the year-end.
For example: ask – what are the top 50 challenges in my life or issues that are keeping me up at night? If you are a family person, ask that question in the context of your family. If you are a chief executive of a company, do the same. If you are looking at improving your life, ask that same question.
As you list, you realize some of the challenges you mention are mere symptoms or just operational or basic issues. Try to categorize your challenges under key themes: health, finances, social or community impact, career progression, and personal values (faith or lack of it), among others.
Summarize your challenges into one statement in the form of effect and cause. For example, “my career is stagnating due to lack of in-demand skills like data analytics and effective communication.” Or you could be more direct and say “unhappy marriage due to lack of trust in my wife.”
Remember, the more accurately you state your strategic challenge, the easier you will solve it. The best medical doctors are great at diagnosis. It is easier to find a solution once the problem is properly defined. However, if you do not define the problem, it is not easy to solve it. You end up treating the symptoms.
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Once the problem is defined; identify two to three priorities you will focus on to address it. Avoid listing many things. Focus on a few things else, they are not priorities. If indeed your career is stagnating because you lack data analytics skills, then devote 3-4 hours daily learning the skill. And when you do, let your supervisors know through your improved quality work and contributions to the business. Remember, when you have a list of priorities it does not mean that all other interventions or initiatives do not matter. No. It means that your priority list takes advantage when it comes to your resources, especially your time and money. If you have two things that require your attention, your priority item takes the day.
Progress is possible when you do not complicate things. This year, my focus is on monetizing my board book, “how to get on the board and become a fantastic director.” I want to conduct board training in the US, UAE, and Asia. It is not easy, but it is possible. After studying my book sales on Amazon, I see a big demand from these countries. Once Asia embraces the book, I am sure Africa will follow because of what succeeds in Asia or Europe, always wins in Africa.
Wish you the best of 2021.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.