Just as a well-run organization has a guiding Mission, so do managers with good Personal Governance. This ‘Life Plan’ is an ongoing project, far-reaching and carefully orchestrated. It serves as a common thread, a ‘leitmotiv’, to guide, motivate and inspire executives through uncertainty and change, success and opportunity. As a personal, core Mission, its translation into action needs regular monitoring.
The Life Plan is a Holistic Plan
In this second part of our series on Personal Governance, we explore Principle I: Life Plan and Goals. While we address the individual manager, the concepts and tools can also support the development of peers, our private entourage, our direct reports, and teams. A Life Plan takes all areas of our lives into account in a meaningful and holistic way, including our social environment and the plans of our closest entourage, (without automatically allowing their expectations to become our own).
The Fateful Moment is a Trigger
If Life Planning should start early on, it frequently only begins with a Fateful Moment – one that forces us to reflect and re-orient. We can use an Imaginary Fateful Moment (IMF), such as a sudden job loss, as a device to kick-start our Life Planning - and check its pulse on a regular basis.
Life Planning Takes Reflection
The Question Catalogue (see the full article) is a set of stimulating and customizable interrogations, such as: “Is there really nothing more important for me?” “What kind of development steps am I personally striving for?” Simple though these may seem, finding the answers can demand deep reflection. We can use the questions for regular location checks and to shape our individual Reflection Catalogue.
The Life Plan is a Personal Strategic Project
We should treat our Life Plan like a corporate mission, ‘creating something’ for the medium and long term with a healthy dose of Carpe Diem. Milestone priorities help us define what matters and shape our project. Setting them means knowing our true desires and talent, the intrinsic motivational factors that create our happiness, a state of physical and psychological ‘fullness’ and ‘flow’. Our talent is best identified with the support of others.
As Borders Fall, YOU Inc. is Rising
Dissolving borders and the ‘subjectivization of work’, have taken us from a world of constraints, control and narrow frameworks to one of space, self-determination and self-responsibility. Whilst this brings benefits, it also demands proactivity in how we invest our time, manage our professional and extra-professional interests and transactional relationships. YOU Inc. status is one sign of the subjectivization of work - increased autonomy and reduced dependency on one employer. Reaching it can help to relieve the pressure of difficult professional situations.
Material Aspirations Raise Questions
In Life Planning it is important to understand our relationship with material aspirations and to be aware not only of the freedom material wealth brings, but of the potential constraints of material addiction, as well as its possible effects upon our mood and relationships.
Who or What Defines our Lives?
Finally, as set out in the full article, the 19 Factors of Happy People and the 10 Rules of Good Luck are all important signposts and check criteria for building our Life Plan. Do we see ourselves as master of our own lives? Are we prepared to invest time and perseverance in creating our own Good Luck?
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