• Shayne Leslie

The Powerful Triumvirate and the Four Pillars of Planning

Transcript from Under Control | Video 1

Welcome! I'm Shayne Leslie, founder of Integrated Governance and creator of Under Control. Thank you so much for taking the time to watch this free training video series. I'm thrilled to have you on board.

The focus here is to help you get UNDER CONTROL!

Now, if you feel overwhelmed by your day to day agenda - emails, requests, interruptions, people-problems, reports... and you feel that you're not progressing, you're going to learn effective strategies to get under control.

Whether you're an experienced CEO or just starting a new role, or a manager looking to develop their skills, or even a board member looking to improve their governance, I've got you covered.

These training videos are for people who want a system to hold themselves and their boards or staff accountable for creating a positive impact in their community, who want to filter out the non-urgent noise and focus the majority of their time and energy on getting results.

In the first video, we're focused on

* The four pillars of successful planning

* Why you need to take small, daily steps to reach your big vision and

* Why it's critical that you defend your untouchable goal-critical action time.

This video will show you the sequence that you must go through if you want to get under control and make an impact as a leader doing what you love.

I want to be super clear on a few things right up front. During the series, I'll be showing you the core foundation I take to help people just like you to plan. But it's not a cookie cutter approach. For every client, I dig and explore for what makes them unique. So there's a bit of work to do when you begin this process. It takes time.

Being under control takes planning. Planning is a mindset. It takes practice, and it takes an attitude of change.

That change starts with yourself.

No amount of planning is going to matter a squat if you are not prepared to do things differently. Starting with the everyday small steps.

If you want to get your fitness under control, there's planning and then there is commitment to the plan. If you want to get your personal finances under control, there's planning and then there is commitment to the plan.

Having a fitness plan and the commitment don't mean a thing with the small actions every day. Get out and exercise. Having a financial plan means nothing if you don't change your small spending and saving habits every day.

There's been this huge push on blogs and media about making 2016 your best year ever. There's a whole bunch of confidence in the business and community sector. BUT, if you want to get your board or organisation or department under control and make 2016 your best year, then you've got to plan and make a commitment to that plan. And take steps every day.

So this is the powerful triumvirate:

* Plan

* Commit

* Take small steps every day

OK, let's look at the four pillars of planning.

The first pillar is REFINED FOCUS for PROFIT CLARITY.

I talked about this in Foster Future Growth. I call it the four quadrants of focus.

Your market isn't everyone. You need crystal-clear clarity on who you're in business with today and where you can grow customers profitably. And you need to know what makes you money and what drains it away. For today and in the future.

Then you can understand where you need to commit time and energy every day, and focus your team's time and energy to maximise profit. You can get your focus under control.

Now, if you're distracted by spending lots and lots of your time ineffectively finding new customers with inappropriate product then you're caught in a trap.

So, the first step of planning is to take the small steps to Refine your Focus for Profit Clarity.

You can only find those secrets when you start collecting and analysing information about YOUR business. Knowing how to collect and use customer information is valuable, and can lead the way to greater income.

The second pillar is setting your FUTURE ORIENTATED VISION AND VALUES.

I like to orientate boards and CEOs to look towards a strategic future. I know that there are mission statements and purpose statements... I have found that two word layers are sufficient in most cases to do this - Vision and Values.

A vision statement is clear, compelling, future-orientated, customer-focused and creates enthusiasm for remaining agile.

The vision statement must go beyond the four-walls of the organisation and makes a bold statement about your position and importance within a dynamic economy.

Your STRATEGIC VALUES set you apart from other similar businesses.

To set strategic values, you must RESIST THE MOB MENTALITY and use values as a powerful and strategic way to position your board and management to transition into future markets.

Values relating to the strategy MUST allow for an agile, forward-thinking board and management that allows them to LEAD.

The Vision and the Values must have a direct line of sight to your Four Quadrants of Focus - who and what makes you money. They're the catch phrases and trigger words you can use when you need to lead a team to a goal-critical action.

Words or short phrases for values I use include:

You could pick a value word and work out what that organisation needs to be doing to achieve their vision. For example, transformation. If that is what the business needs to be doing, what do you think I found in the research?


The analogy of the strategic ecosystem, especially the tree, has worked for many of my clients. The boards role sits under the blue line. Management's role sits above the blue line.

The vision and values are the seed from which the tree grows. The vision and values should be deeply embedded and central to every organisational action and decision. From the seed, we set our objectives, then break them down into smaller strategies. These are the roots of the tree. The strategy implementation is governed by board policy. This is the trunk of the tree.

The four solid and robust roots I use are

* Leadership and governance

* Operational revenue

* Community and communication and

* Facilities.

From these four roots, many sub-roots are created. You'll see in the download I've provided that I use this as a framework for the 15-minute management planners, which I will talk about a little later.

I take a layered approach in setting strategic objectives. The reason I do this is to make it easier to recall details. Grouping aspects of the plan helps identify overlaps, gaps and helps enormously with reporting for board meetings. Every layer must have a line of sight to the Vision.

We'll spend more time here in the next training video.


There is no shortage of cool, innovative, bold strategies, but there is a massive shortage of organisations that can take those strategies and execute them with discipline.

It's here that we need to take small, daily steps to reach your big vision.

Download the 15-minute management planners if you haven't already.

At the beginning of this video I said being under control takes planning. No amount of planning is going to matter if you are not prepared to do things differently. Starting with the everyday small steps.

Strategy is the goal-setting and the business actions are the small steps to take you closer to your goal.

The management planners help you practice defending your untouchable goal-critical action time.

Lay out one goal-critical action per day... without overwhelming yourself. Check out the non-scientific Task Completion equation. Start to recognise patterns in the obstacles that challenge you.

Why it's vital that you defend your untouchable goal-critical action time.

Having a strategic plan is methodical. It maps out a way to achieve your goals. It lacks the drama of flying by the seat of your pants. But nothing can take away the feeling of accomplishment that many small steps make. The experience and knowledge that comes with looking behind you and seeing the path that brought you to your goals.

To get to our goals, we must learn to defend our untouchable goal-critical action time.

As managers and directors, many of us are 'wired' to be pleasing to our colleagues. With all the focus on being a team player, quite a large group of us have lost the ability to call 'me-time'. That's the time we need to block out other people (and their requests, questions, problems and stories) and concentrate on planning and actioning goal-critical activities.

The feedback from you is that there are other problems. Here are just some of them:

* Incompetence in the team

* The myth of being liked

* Decluttering... and the

* Interruption Factor.

Let's talk about incompetence.

Let me tell you! More than one survey respondent talked about the incompetence of others being their number one reason they lost control of their day.

To build a deep bench of talent, it starts with the vision of your perfect organisation.

Without an overall strategy, you're in danger of building a deep bench of incompetence. There's got to be a line of sight from the vision to the people on the floor, or at the frontline of your business.

Good strategic planning helps eliminate incompetence. With the plan and commitment, you can:

* Recruit competent people who will help action your plan

* Train existing people according to the needs of your plan

* Realign job descriptions according to the plan and manage performance accordingly

* Lead according to your values

* Identify people who will never be part of the vision and make tough decisions.

Of course, there are lots of moving parts to do these things. Those moving parts are the small steps you take every day. These small steps are probably the toughest, so you must defend your untouchable goal-critical actions to consider how you manage these.

OK, this one is interesting... being liked, Luke Skywalker and Yoda.

First of all, avoid buying into the myth that, as a leader, you must be liked by everyone at all times. It isn't going to happen.

Teaching never ends. Learning never ends. When Yoda was teaching Luke Skywalker, Luke got pretty cranky some of the times. Yoda rolled his eyes and shook his head.

Yoda was a celebrated and very experienced warrior. He could have been the HERO of Star Wars. Swept in and saved the day, while Luke checked his Facebook status seemingly disengaged. But Yoda was building a deep bench of talent. So he played the role of the WISE MENTOR.

To become a wise mentor and build a deep bench of talent with the right people in the right roles, you need an overall plan. This will give you a very good idea of what battles to fight yourself, and which ones you can delegate accountability to your new heroes.

Yoda was playing his role according to a very complex plan. Luke didn't understand the enormity of the plan until his experience grew. Every day, Yoda faced the possibility that Luke would abandon the role of hero, not reach his potential, or fail and die.

Like Yoda, as a leader, sometimes you're not going to be liked. You have to make tough, ugly decisions. The more you put off those tough, ugly decisions, the higher price you will pay down the track. We've all got a story to tell about avoiding a tough decision only to have it come back and bite us badly.

Don't get caught up in that day's drama... take the small steps, be the wise mentor, keep your end goal in sight. Lead in small steps and defend your untouchable goal-critical actions to consider how you lead.

Now I want to talk about decluttering.

There is this whole trend in decluttering. If your schedule is full of rubbish, then you're not going to have the time to commit to everyday steps.

Your schedule may be littered with things like:

* Appointments or meetings that don't end on time

* Corridor conversations without structure

* Deadlines there was never any chance you were going to make

* Seminars that have no strategic value

* Networking just in case

* Turning up to industry events because that's what you've always done.

Schedule in your untouchable goal-critical actions. These are the must take small steps every day that will help you realise your goal. These are your practice schedules to get into the mindset of small steps every day without compromise.

This leads to the Interruption Factor.

You've shut the door - it is your untouchable goal-critical action time. Then, the inevitable person-problem knocks.

Now, first I want you to explain to the person that it is your untouchable goal-critical action time. If it 'can't wait', give them a maximum of 2 minutes.

As the person talks, consider your weekly goals of small steps every day and assign the person-problem in relation to your overall plan.

Decide if it correlates with your goals. You could mentally rank:

1. Ah... no, not ever will this correlate with my goals - this is a time waster

2. This is a matter to assign or push back to the accountable party, a manager or supervisor perhaps

3. This is a matter that corresponds with my plan, but not my untouchable goal-critical activity so please schedule another time to discuss

4. Or, yes, act now.

Without a plan, without commitment to the plan and without commitment to taking small steps every day, everything is going to look urgent and busy. You can sweep in an be the hero, and make excuses for not achieving your goals.

It is hard to push back. People may not like it. So many of you in the survey admitted to the interruption factor being the number one loss of control. Time management. Small fires. Managers not making decisions. Inefficient complaints handling... Defend your untouchable goal-critical action time.

So, we've talked about the

* Powerful Triumvirate

* Four Pillars of Successful Planning

* Four Quadrants of Focus

* And defending your untouchable goal-critical activity time.

In the next video, I talk about my book, Under Control. This is an introductory practical guide on creating your strategic plan.

The planning downloads are to help you start getting into the right mindset for strategic planning. Leave a comment below and tell me how you're going to handle incompetence, being liked, decluttering and interruptions this week.

Tell me, too, what you would love to hear about in the next training video. When it comes to strategic planning, what's the thing that confuses you, frustrates you or makes you run screaming for the hills? I'd love to know.

Thanks for joining me on this training video. See you soon. I'm Shayne Leslie.


#strategy #strategicplanning #incompetence #team #management #vision #values #transcript

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