Reflect, Plan, and Connect

Last week my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the Building Champions Experience in Sunriver, Oregon. The event was four days of intense focus on growing personally and professionally. Attendees included professionals in sales, managers, business owners, CEOs of major U.S. firms, and employees from various companies across the world. The theme of the event was Reflect, Plan, and Connect. This event has only been in existence for two years but is quickly becoming the premier opportunity for anyone interested in living a more purposeful life and becoming a more intentional and effective leader in their industry. Over the next few days I will be blogging about my experience at the Building Champions Experience. I will share with you the gems that I collected from the wonderful speakers and breakout sessions we attended. Today's post focuses on the theme of the event Reflect - Plan - Connect. Coach Steve Scanlon walked us through a brief session on why regular reflection, consistent planning, and transparent connection with others is vital to our health and professional career.

REFLECT - PLAN - CONNECT: September 16th with Coach Steve Scanlon of Building Champions

ReflectREFLECT - How many of us make time in our schedule for intentional reflection? Not many of us, including me. Now you may be saying to yourself, "I think about life and my business all the time, what are you talking about?" Well, if your like me, this usually occurs while I'm driving or in the shower. The number one excuse given by professionals for not reflecting is TIME. Just not enough time in the day, week, or month to set aside dedicated time for it. I want to encourage you to set aside time weekly for focused reflection on your life, your business, your personal health, and any other "accounts" that you have in the "Bank of ______" (insert your name). Reflecting on your life and business allows you to focus your mental energy on what needs to be done so that you don't always walk around saying "I should be doing this or I should be doing that". Instead, you can use a regularly scheduled reflection time to start turning your "shoulds" into things that you are actually doing. You can turn your "shoulds" into "dos". As you reflect upon what you need and want to do, the next step is to plan.

PlanPLAN - Once again, most professionals state they just do not have enough time to plan for where they want to go and what they want to do personally or professionally. As we sat in the room that day, Coach Steve asked the audience to throw out reasons why people do not spend time planning. I heard people say, "I don't want to be held accountable to my plan", "I feel like a slave to my plan" and "If I write it down, I'll have to do it". Now its one thing to say this to yourself, in your head, but to actually hear these excuses spoken was really convicting for me. Too often I have used these excuses to not plan, set goals, or identify high-payoff activities. Taking the time to plan can be very powerful. Planning connects you back to your Purpose for doing what you do and demonstrates your desire to be intentional. Here are a few tips for making your plan more effective. First, your plan must be in writing. I recommend the one page business plan (more on this in a day or two) that can be kept with you at all times. Second, avoid being vague. Its too easy to avoid accountability by being vague. For example, if you plan to increase your income through more sales you might write down as a goal "make more money by contacting more past clients and asking for referrals". On the surface this looks great, but in reality it will lead to mediocrity. You must be more specific. Try this instead, "I'm going to make an additional $25,000 in income before the end of the year by contacting 10 past clients, either face to face or voice to voice, per week and asking them for referrals. I will do this every weekday from 9AM to 11AM." In this example we have a goal ($25,000 of income by the end of the year) and we have a discipline that is outlined (10 contacts per day from 9AM to 11AM). Finally, remember disciplines are expressed in frequencies and goals are expressed in due dates and timeframes. Don't think you are planning by simply writing down a bunch of goals. Your goals must be backed by specific disciplines that will be put in place to help you achieve success in reaching those goals. When you achieve your goals through specific disciplines, why would you ever stop doing those disciplines? The best disciplines in business never stop.

ConnectCONNECT - The only way to truly connect with people is to be open and honest with them and to fellowship with them. As a culture we have been taught to isolate and compartmentalize our lives. You must get face to face with people in order to connect with them and you must be willing to be transparent and vulnerable with them. This is probably the most difficult challenge for all professionals. We are told to keep business and our personal lives separate and to always pose as someone leading the perfect life. No doubt this strategy affirms the quote of Henry David Thoreau when he stated, “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Engaging others leads to fellowship, learning, and alignment of purpose and vision with others.

Reflect, Plan, and Connect a simple call to action that set the stage for an amazing four day experience. As you look over your life and business, in what areas do you need to Reflect, Plan, and Connect?

You can learn more about the Building Champions Experience by clicking HERE.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

E: dfoster@prunw.com T: www.twitter.com/coachdanfoster