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Leadership and business planning

Don't make business plans ! Don't set goals this year

The biggest mistake leaders make this time of the year …..

Q4 is usually the time of the year when many organizations and leaders get into annual business planning cycle

I am sure some of you would also be in the same boat

You set business goals

Reduce cost by xx%

Increase revenues by yy% 

Then you start tracking these goals closely throughout the year

And then same time next year, you repeat the same exercise right ?

I believe this is a flawed approach

And you know what the biggest problem with this approach is ?

You focus on what you need to DO as a leader

Goals and actions

The DOING part

But guess what ?

As a leader, you need to figure out something else first

Something very core, very foundational

And that is…

Who you want to BE as a leader ?

Your BEING part

Most leaders make the mistake of putting “doing” before “being”

“Beingness” comes from a place of desire and intention :

What do you want people to remember you for ?

What really drives you ?

What impact you want to create ?

What is your true intention as a leader ?

Because once you are able to figure out who you want to be 

Every action and decision you take should align with it

Ofcourse this is not just applicable to workplace

This is equally relevant in personal life as well

Let me give some examples:

Say you want to reduce weight and next year, you want to set a goal to reduce weight by 10 kgs

But instead of setting that goal, take a step back this time think :

What will that goal help me to do ? Who do I want to be if I am able to reduce my weight ?

The answer could be….

I want to be a person who is energetic, motivated and leads a healthy lifestyle. This will allow me to bring my best at my work as well as in my relationships

Now if you see, reducing weight becomes a means to achieve a healthy and energetic life ( with others things as well such as eating and sleeping habits )

Let us take a workplace example :

Say you set a goal to reduce costs by 10% by automating some functions

Again, think about the future state – what do you want to be known for ?

The answer could be….

I want to be the leader who led the company’s digital transformation agenda

Now, automation and other technology uplifts become a means to that end


Goals, milestones, actions plans – all these are a means to an end and NOT the end itself

The end state, the “beingness” is what you need to define first and then work backwards

So this time of the year, I invite you to take some time out

Pause, step back & reflect

Do not jump into business planning mode 

First, discover who you want to BE

Let that be a powerful guiding force to propel you and your business ahead

Here is a simple yet powerful reflective exercise :

  1. Who do you want to be ? Define your future state in a single crisp sentence

You can complete this sentence : I want to be the leader who_________________

Finally, if you need any help in creating a powerful and compelling vision for yourself, drop me a note. Do not wait for the year to end – this is the right time to start thinking about it


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