Posted in Full time Mom, Full time Job

Strategic Life Planning

Call me crazy, but Strategic Planning is hands down my favorite annual project. My second favorite project would be putting together the detailed plan, down to the umpteenth detail, outlining all the steps, time lines and resources needed to accomplish the goals setforth in the Strategic Plan. I love dreaming what could be – but a dream without a plan is just a dream, whereas a dream WITH a plan becomes reality.

I have had a Strategic Life Plan for several years. It has things that I want to accomplish both professionally and personally. There are both long term and short term goals. I want to be named VP and double my salary by the time I am 40. I want to retire at 55 and then do full-time mission work until I die. I have also carefully laid out the steps needed to reach each goal: read one work related book a month; take on high-profile assignments; work my way up to saving 15% of my pre-tax income…

Recently I was excited when I realized that not only had I made significant progress in my Strategic Life Plan, but that I was ahead of plan! Then last week I realized that I had left one crucial item off my Strategic Life Plan – the most crucial element of all…

“They don’t know that who you ARE is not what you DO”*

My pastor recommended a book, Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders by Joel Manby. It is a great book, I knew within the first few pages that it would be one of those that I read and re-read every year or two. But it wasn’t until I got to the last chapter that the real LIGHTBULB went on – we are talking neon sign!

More important than the to “DO” in a Strategic Plan is the to “BE”. It is good to have dreams and plans of what you want to DO, but they should always been done in tangent with WHO you want to BE. Never get so caught up in all you want to DO, that you forget about who you want to BE when you get there. There are plenty of old men and women who have conquered the world, only to find that there was no one with them to enjoy the journey, and that they so hate who they have become, that they are unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

At the end of the day is God going to be impressed that I completed & filed three Franchise Disclosure Document in one season, all by myself? Or that I got it approved in Maryland without one comment from the state – twice? Hmm…

In actuality, I think He is more concerned in whether I was a good steward that strove to write a fair document that both protects my employer and shows respect for our Franchisees. It pleases Him when I maintain a joyful and peaceful attitude even when under high-pressure deadlines. When I return a kind word to a rude state employee. God is more concerned with the person who completed the tasks, then with the actual tasks that were completed.

Fortunately it was easy to add the to “BE” to my Strategic Life Plan, as it was already so well-written by One greater than I:

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Galatians 5:22-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

* Lyrics from Lose my Soul by Toby Mac

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