7 Steps to Career Success with Waypoints

Career-Success-StepsI’ve never met a successful leader who didn’t have a plan for his or her career success. The plan may have changed over the years, but there is a plan with waypoints.

It’s never to late to plan out the rest of your career. You may find like I did, that you’re in a different place from where you thought you’d be twenty years ago. Life is like that. It happens. It’s a trip.

Along the way we discover what we like, dislike, what we’re good at, and what we should avoid. For example, it took me a while to discover that – no matter my job, title, or field – what I am really meant to do is to develop people. That’s what I do. It doesn’t matter if I’m hired by a transportation corporation, or a nonprofit, or a family business. I will always end up trying to develop people to be their best. It’s my purpose and passion.

So everything I do, every job I accept, fits with my plan to become better at my purpose. When opportunities arise, I have some criteria by which to judge the value. I have a plan to keep getting better at what I do.

I use waypoints, or small points of progression that I’ve identified as stepping stones along the way. In my previous post here, I explained how each letter of WAYPOINTS establishes clarity. In another post here, I explained the first three steps to plan out the actions and resources needed for each waypoint. The seven planning steps inlcude Time, Treasure, Talent, Manpower, Machinery, Providence and Stupidity. Here are the remaining four planning steps.

4. Manpower

Who are you going to get to help you? It may be as simple as a spouse, a friend or an accountability partner, or it may be as complex as a department of the company. Specifically identify the human resources you will need to achieve your WAYPOINT. People often overlook this step, thinking they can do it all themselves.

5. Machinery

What are the physical resources you will need? A forklift and racking? A new machine? A new pair of running shoes? An app? Machinery today is often technology—there is an app for that—that you will use in the pursuit of your WAYPOINT. For instance, I use iRunner to track my workouts and keep me on course. What are you going to need?

6. Providence

What happens if you are abundantly successful? We don’t often think in terms of abundance, we just think about “getting there”. We often think about what is going to go wrong rather than what is going to go right. This is the space to think differently and think about abundant success. What if you over-shoot your WAYPOINT? It’s like that commercial that aired a few years ago—a dot com was going live with a website. They counted it down and it launched. As they watched the tote board on the wall it ticked up and they gave a great cheer! 1, 10, 100, 1,000…and the cheers turned into trepidation as they realized they were TOO successful. How were they going to handle all the volume? Don’t neglect to factor in good luck and raving success too.

7. Stupidity

This is where you put all the things that can go wrong, the mishaps, accidents, or mistakes. What can derail you? What is going to get in the way of your success? What is going to block the path to your WAYPOINT? Could it be an injury, a recession, a labor problem? It could be something as simple as a weight WAYPOINT being derailed by chocolate! By thinking about these things up front, you will know how to deal with them down the line.

Do you have a plan? Is it written down, and have you taken a little bit of time to examine the actions and resources you need? As Jim Rohn is famous for saying:

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.
Questions? Contact me here and on LinkedIn.
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