Rule 21: Have a plan

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Nigeria's Security Door Expert, James Olufemi Adejuwon,  CEO Scooba Doors Ltd 
Do you know where you’re going?  If you don’t, then the probability is that you’ll end up going nowhere.  The smart follower of The Rules knows exactly where they’re going.  They have a plan.  They have plotted the path to where they want to be – in six months, in a year, in five years.  They’ve planned their game and know how to play. And so will you.  Rules players remain flexible and convert their plan according to circumstances – they’re not rigid thinkers but smart and very fluid.


So, know what you want for long term

So, what’s your game plan for your life?  Don’t know?  Haven’t ever thought about it?  Most people don’t.  And that’s why they fail.  If you don’t have a plan it is terribly easy not to stick to it and end up where the current takes you – a bit of flotsam adrift on the eddies of life, very sad.  The Rules Player has a plan – long term and short term.
 “I spoke to someone recently who said, ‘who would have predicted downsizing then?’  The answer is anyone with the brains to have seen which way their business sector was going”
Long-term plans can be very simple – qualify, move up, reach the top, retire, die.  Or they can be sensible and useful. If you intend having a career it makes sense to study the game plan of your chosen industry.  Obviously you will have to build in a certain contingency for the unexpected and the ‘out-of-your-control’, but the shrewd Rules Player will have already amended their long-term game plan well in advance having seen the indicators and read the signs.  I spoke to someone recently who said, ‘who would have predicted downsizing then?’  The answer is anyone with the brains to have seen which way their business sector was going.


So study your chosen industry and see the progression steps needed to make it to the position you want to occupy.  Work out what you need to make those steps.  Work out how many steps it takes – usually no more than about four – junior, middle, senior, executive.  (If you think otherwise don’t write in).

Work out what you want from each step – gaining experience, handling responsibility, learning new skills, acquiring people management understanding, that sort of thing.  You will notice that ‘increasing my earnings’ just isn’t an option here – that is a foregone conclusion if you are a Rules Player anyway.

Work out how each step is made.  This might be a transfer to another department, relocation to another branch, being offered a partnership, being invited to join the board, moving to another company, that sort of thing.  Once you know how each step is made, it doesn’t take much to work out what you need to acquire that how.

You have to have an end game – the final goal.  This can be as high or as extreme as you like – emperor of the world, prime minister, CEO, wealthiest person in the world, whatever.  It is a dream and thus has no limits. If you set limits on your imagination, then you will have to settle for less than the best, less than perfect, less than you deserve.  Ah, but you say we have to be realistic.  Find, do that, be realistic.  But a Rules Player heads for the vey utmost of their dreams and nothing less than the top is good enough.

(Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to design a Short term plan” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)
Rule-to-Work Series
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