“Great leadership has a plan and works that plan constantly. Planning has to be something that’s part of your routine every single week. Planning is not an event. Planning is a discipline.” — Chris Ihrig, CEO at FiredUp! 

 The end of the year is rapidly approaching. And if you’re like many of the leaders we work with, you’re not quite sure what comes next, especially at a time when so many things still feel uncertain. 

The uncertainty that 2020 has cast makes it all the more important to be clear about where you’re going, what your goals are, and who you need on your team to achieve those goals. 

Strategic Planning Starts Small and Ends Big

Most of us are constantly planning. We make small plans, like deciding what to do next weekend, and big plans, like setting a goal to buy a house. 

But there’s a big difference between planning a presentation for your afternoon meeting and planning to increase revenue 30% in the next five years. Leaders must understand the difference between planning basic, transactional tasks and looking to the future, toward more transformational goals. 

Here are four planning strategies effective leaders follow. 

Plan concurrently

What’s your 30-day plan, 60-day plan, and 90-day plan? In the same vein, what are your one-, three-, five-, and seven-year goals? 

Planning this way ensures you’re focused on the task at hand, while still thinking, innovating, and creating for the future. 


Think about the way your daily tasks nest into bigger objectives, how those objectives fit with your milestones, and how those milestones lead you to your ultimate goals. 

Organizing ensures nothing is random, nothing is lost, and your planning translates naturally from big-picture ideas into actionable daily activities. 

Don’t reinvent the wheel

Unnecessary replication drains resources and negatively impacts efficiency. Plus, it’s a recipe for disengaging team members. 

“Creative energy is finite. If I’ve used my creative energy over and over for the same thing, I’m not likely to want to do that again. People like to invest creative energy in something that’s new or something that’s challenging for them.” — Tim Yeomans, Executive Vice President at FiredUp!

Work toward shared ownership

Great leaders are always finding ways to build the capacity of others. That includes drawing them into conversations about short-term and long-term plans so they feel a sense of shared accountability for the achievement of your goals. 

The same principles that apply to planning for your organization also apply to planning for your own personal development, as a leader, and the development of your team members.

Planning with Intentionality Drives Strategy and Improves Culture

There’s a difference between making progress and just getting through something. A 12-year-old doing their math homework just wants to get it done, but few are excited or interested to really learn the core concepts. 

An effective business strategy exists where planning and intentionality intersect.  

When you invest your time in planning and evaluating your progress, you can expect a return. If you simply spend your time reacting to the next thing that comes across your desk, you will complete the task but to what measure of benefit? 

At FiredUp!, we help leaders and organizations connect the dots between their intentions, their plans, and their values to drive effective strategies and exceptional culture. 

“FiredUp! brings an intentionality specifically related to the culture within an organization,” says Ihrig. “Our goal is to bring people a clarity of vision, purpose and the work at hand.” 

Let us help you get started on the path toward better planning, effective strategies, and phenomenal work culture. Download our free workbook.