Saturday, June 9, 2012

How Effective Leaders Plan
The Old adage says, "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail." It may be trite but it still is true. Every hour you spend in planning, you're likely to save five times that in the execution.
One of the great leader-planners in ancient times was a guy named Nehemiah. You can read his fascinating biography in a book of the Bible with his name - "Nehemiah". Space won't allow me to tell his whole story, but to summarize: Nehemiah took a group of discouraged, defeated people and managed to pull off an impossible building project in just 52 days. In the second chapter of his book he illustrates…

The Six Steps of Successful Planning

1. THINK IT THROUGH (Neh 2:1) The difference between leaders and followers begins with this: Leaders take the time to think about the future before it arrives. Followers just let the future happen to them. "Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly." Pro 13:16
2. PREPARE FOR OPPORTUNITIES (Neh 2: 1-3) When opportunity knocks, will your church be ready for growth or business be ready to open the door? We miss so many great opportunities by not being prepared. Often, I hear people say "Some people have all the luck!" I might reply, "Yes, the more I plan the luckier I get!"
3. ESTABLISH A GOAL (Neh 2:5) Most people tend to make two major mistakes in goal-setting: (1) They set their goals too low, and (2) They attempt to achieve them too quickly. Make your goals large and long-term. Then, break them down into short-term components.
4. SET A DEADLINE (Neh 2:6)
Without a deadline - you don't have a goal - it's just wishful thinking. Deadlines turn dreams into goals. This is the calendering and scheduling phase of planning.
5. ANTICIPATE THE PROBLEMS (Neh 5:7) Leaders anticipate problems before they happen and seek solutions before problems occur. Leaders focus on solving tomorrow's problems. Managers focus on today's problems. Of course, both are necessary in any healthy organization.
6. CALCULATE THE COSTS (Neh 5:8) Every goal has a price tag attached to it. This is the budgeting part of planning. Ask two questions: (1) What will it cost? (2) Is it worth it?

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