I know it’s hard to believe, but we’re almost done with calendar year 2010. As of today, there are only 103 days left before January 1 rolls around again–which means it’s once again time for that 100 Day end of the year plan and push campaign. And I do mean “plan and push.” Why? Because too many owners and CEOs (and their teams) fall into that, “It’s too late to salvage this year,” kind of thinking at this stage of the calendar year–and it’s that kind of thinking that gets them into trouble!
It doesn’t have to be that way. Henry Ford was absolutely right when he said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.” It’s all about what goes on in your head. So, if you think the year is over, then it’s over–not because it is, but because you won’t do what’s necessary to create a great year end finish. However, if on the other hand, you believe that you can finish the year well, then you’ll do what’s necessary to finish well–and you will. It’s all about what you believe first, then what you do.
So, if you want to finish this year well, here’s what I’d encourage you to do over the next three days, Create a 100 Day Plan (or if you’re reading this later than September 24th–create a X number of days plan–a 90 Day Plan or 87 Day Plan or 65 Day Plan, etc. to reach the end of the year).
Now, to create this plan, there are a couple of guidelines worth remembering.
1. Focus on your growth accelerators. In other words, what are the three to five most important things you need to get done before the end of the year that would have the greatest impact on your business. You can’t get everything done by 12/31, so what are the three to five most important projects/initiatives/tasks etc. that need to be completed by the end of the year if you want to finish well.
2. Focus on what can drive additional revenue and profits by year end. This is it. You’re now on the 20 yard line. You’re within striking distance. The 2:00 minute warning has been sounded. So get focused. Where can you quickly drive additional revenue and profits before the whistle blows on 12/31? Don’t let other items get in the way. The end of the year is too close.
3. Focus on a few projects that have been dragging along that “never” seem to get done. There are few more enjoyable moments then checking something off a to do list that has been hanging on there forever. For example, that website redo that was supposed to happen back in March–wouldn’t it feel great if you knocked it off before the end of the year?
4. Focus on what will set you up for a great next year. In other words, you not only want to set yourself up for a great year end finish, you also want to set yourself up for a great start to next year as well. Or to put it another way, you don’t want to be so short-term focused, that you hurt your first quarter of next year. So, what needs to happen this quarter to set you up for a great first quarter of next year?
Then, once you have your 100 Day Plan, you’ll need to push yourself and your team to make sure it gets done. Put your plan up someplace where everyone can see it. Create some key metrics. Keep them visible. Report on them daily or weekly. Put some incentives into your plan for your people. And keep talking about your 100 Day Plan ad nauseum.
You only have a few days left in this year to make it remarkable. So, don’t waste any of them. Create a 100 Day plan. Work your plan. Evaluate the results you’re getting. Then keep adjusting your plan until you get the results you want. Remember: January 1st is not that far away.
To your accelerated success!
P.S. This is a great exercise to do with your executive team!