Create Your Competency Plan

Create Your Plan – It’s About You & What You Want

“Do I Really Have to Plan?  That Sounds Boring.”
Planning is all about you and what you want.  Planning is only boring when you don’t take it seriously.  Planning is about deciding which competencies are the most important to you.  Planning helps you determine what your priorities are and helps devote your energy to developing the competencies you most want. 

This is particularly important where competencies are concerned because there is such a large number of competencies required for success as a young man or woman.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t feel like you are getting some control over this challenge.  You need to develop a lot of competencies, but you don’t need to develop them all at once.  Planning helps get control of competency development.

Plans are Answers to Basic Questions – and They Evolve
Plans are simply answers to basic questions that you ask yourself.  For example:

  • What do I want?  What competencies do I want to develop?
  • When do I want to develop them?  Immediately or in the next six months or the next year or later? 
  • Where and how can I develop these competencies?
  • What actions do I need to take to develop these competencies?
  • Who can support me and how?
  • How will I track my progress and know I am on a good trajectory?

Those are questions that naturally come to mind, and the answers form a plan.  As you live out that plan you will inevitably change it as you learn from experience.  There are very few plans that don’t change.  The best plans are living documents that change and adapt based on experience.

Five Keys to a Plan Worth Having

  1. Do it – the process of planning is as important as the plan
    Planning is a form of thinking – assessing, thinking about possible actions, making choices and committing, timing and sequencing actions, etc.  Planning is just a way to guide thinking and set up for effectively acting
  2. Make it Yours – make it what you want
    Planning is a way to be the author of your life – to gain influence over what happens in your life.  It should be about what you want in the vast majority of cases.  There will always be some things that other want you to do or require you to do – that’s life – but most planning should be focused on what you want – being the author of your life.
  3. Keep it Simple – don’t over-plan
    Plans do not need to be big and complex and fancy.  Simple is often best.  If you find you need more detail, then add it, but start simple.  And don’t worry about whether it is a perfect plan.  An OK plan today is better than a perfect plan next month.
  4. Give it Life – feed it attention & energy
    If you followed the first three guidelines, then you probably have a plan or plans worth investing in.  So, invest some time and energy and see where it takes you.  Give your plan some life.  Act on it.
  5. Persevere & Keep it Flexible – life will intrude
    Usually the pattern is that we plan, then reality intrudes and blows up the plan and we have to revise the plan – usually more than once.  Having a good plan is important, even if reality interferes and we have to change it.  What is often more important is our ability to learn from experience and refine our plan as we go.For example, your initial timing may have been unrealistic, you may have missed something that helps or hinders your plan, new factors may appear, you may hit an unforeseen barrier or pitfall, etc.  You can also encounter unexpected opportunities or help that accelerates your plan or allows you to expand the competencies you are developing.  Expect the plan to evolve.

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I'll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I'll give you a stock clerk.

J. C.