Just Stick to the Plan

Richard Williams said: “I wrote me a 78-page plan for their whole career before they was even born.” Richard, father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena, may have naysayers, but he knew to just stick to the plan.

When King Richard, the movie about his life, came out, I enjoyed the story. I was struck by the dogged determination of both parents (and Venus and Serena themselves) to stick to “the plan.”

78-Page Plans vs. A 2-Page V/TO™

While I may not believe in 78-page plans, I do believe in understanding the most important things you want. That goes for your business and for your personal life.

Richard Williams helped his daughters envision their potential in their tennis careers. And EOS Implementers® help leadership teams and employees understand their business’s vision. Together, we map out where we want to go and how we’ll get there.

As part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), leadership teams craft a two-page vision document – or Vision/Traction Organizer™ (V/TO). In this document, business leaders clearly answer eight important questions to define a company’s mission and vision.

Crystallize your vision and align your team

Eight Questions to Define Your Company’s Vision

While most leadership teams have a company vision, they may not all agree on it – especially if it runs 78 pages! Using the V/TO, leadership teams answer eight questions designed to get them aligned and on the same page.

  1. What are your Core Values?
    This list should include roughly 3–5 vital and timeless guiding principles for your company.
  2. What is your Core Focus™?
    Your Core Focus should succinctly capture the purpose, cause, or passion of the business while defining your specific niche in your industry,
  3. What is your 10-Year Target™?
    With clear Core Values and Core Focus in place, companies can dream big about where they see themselves in the next decade.
  4. What is your marketing strategy?
    Your marketing strategy should include four elements:

    1. Target Market (aka The List) – or your ideal clients
    2. 3 Uniques™ – what makes you stand out from your competitors
    3. Proven Process – how you get consistent results for every client
    4. Guarantee (optional for some businesses) – promise to clients that your company will address a common pain point in your industry
  5. What is your 3-Year Picture™?
    Break down your 10-Year Target into something you can accomplish in three years to hit that big dream goal. Ensure you have truly Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals.
  6. What is your 1-Year Plan?
    Determine what needs to happen next year to achieve that 3-Year Picture, again creating SMART goals.
  7. What are your Rocks?
    Now figure out the most important actions your company needs to take in the next 90 days. These actions should get you closer to your 1-Year Plan.
  8. What’s on your Issues List?
    These pain points can hold you back from achieving your goals.

Everyone on the leadership team has to agree with the answers to these eight questions. If not, the team needs to discuss – for however long it takes – until everyone is 100% on the same page. Only then do they have a complete V/TO that can serve as a road map to move the business forward.

A Plan Shared by All

When a leadership team can articulate the business vision and get it “shared by all,” they unleash pure magic. Leaders and individuals gain freedom from confusion and the freedom to step into their roles to transform the vision into reality.

I don’t know about you, but I get inspired by looking at the tennis careers of Venus and Serena Williams. Think about how Richard Williams had envisioned most of their amazing achievements in “the plan” before they ever went pro. But he didn’t need a 78-page plan to get them on the same page. And, frankly, neither does your business. All you really need is a concise two-page document answering critical questions to get aligned.

The beauty of EOS lies in its simplicity. But that doesn’t make it easy. However, when you stick to the plan, you have a clear road map for your company. By learning the tools and disciplines of EOS, you will get real Vision, Traction, and Healthy in your organization. Schedule a FREE 90 Minute Meeting with an EOS Implementer® to learn how.

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