Hello Leader,

This KEY gets you started on your strategic planning for 2009. Although we are in the midst of the greatest financial crisis in a century, we can confidently say that a brighter future is ahead of us. Why? Because on the other side of what may be a difficult and challenging phase are new and amazing developments, brilliant innovations and extraordinary opportunities. The seeds of these opportunities are being sown right now, amidst the destruction. Soon they will begin to blossom.

Now, more than ever, you must be reflective and strategic. Agility and speed, poise and clarity of purpose are just a few of the things you have to focus on as a leader. To help you make the next year the best it can be, explore the 10 areas below.

We welcome your comments. Please forward this Key to friends, family and associates.


Aviv Shahar

Also, visit our blog to find out about:

A Blue Belt Morning Brief
Love Is 100 Times Better
Why I Disagree With Jack & Suzie Welch
Dealing With Fear
Opportunities in Tough Times and more.

Your 2009 Strategy

To best explore the questions below, imagine that you are in a coaching session with me. Inside the coaching conversation we have, I ask you a series of questions. I then encourage and challenge you to discover your strengths and follow your insights. Please share with me your success stories in this exercise.

For you to gain the benefits of this, you must allow it time and space. Make a commitment to engage in this strategy workout. You might need a 90 minute concentrated session; or, you may prefer to break it up into two sessions or a series of sessions. Ideally, plan to have this workout in the next 10 days. Do not wait for December. Block the time out on your calendar now.

A Strategy Workout

Here are 10 exploration areas to help you develop your next-year strategy. Create your own copy or print a hard copy of this letter to have easy access when reflecting on these questions. Have your notepad ready and enjoy the discovery.

How to go about this exercise:

First: Focus on things you can control and influence.

Second: Write down your responses to the questions. If it’s only in your head, it does not exist!

Third: Revisit what you wrote and update it weekly. Use it as a work in progress, a documentation of your journey.

  1. What worked well for you this last year? What was the best thing that happened? What did you absolutely enjoy?
  2. What did you learn from these? How will you apply this learning next year?
  3. What surprised you this year (positive and negative)? What was the greatest frustration? What is the biggest regret?
  4. Who are the key people that help you be the person you are and do all that you do? What will delight them? What opportunities do you have to make them happier?
  5. What activities and processes always bring you the best results? What do you no longer need? What can you clear out of the way, to make space for the new?
  6. What helps you to better express your strengths and talents? What new skills and capabilities do you want to develop?
  7. What are the needs around you for which you can become the answer to? What situations promote your best contributions?
  8. What new growth opportunities will excite and energize you? What uncertainties do you need to consider? What initiatives can you take to forward your opportunities?
  9. What have you been delaying for a long time that you know you must do this year? What do you need to start doing? What will make you very proud this coming year?
  10. What are you ready to forgive and let go of? What support do you need? What will make next year the best year yet?

Focus on what matters most, on your top priorities and the principles that will guide you. Dramatic change brings great opportunities-growth and development opportunities, business and financial opportunities, and more. Review what you were able to accomplish this year. Reflect on your goals and on your ability to make a difference.

Two things can make your strategy workout even better:

First, work with a friend and compare notes.

Second, work with a coach. Give me a call or send me an email if you want us to work on your strategy together.

Now it’s your turn. Turn the Key. Be your own leader. Develop your next-year strategy.

© Aviv Shahar

Coaching Leaders

Do you ask yourself “how can I help my team raise the bar? how can I generate greater support for my ideas? Where can we make a leap forward?”

As a leader you are tasked and challenged on all fronts:

You need to generate focus and clarity amid rapid and chaotic changes, while maintaining humor, ease and spontaneity.
You endeavor to promote a culture of trust, enthusiasm and vision while you manage performance and the bottom line.
You encourage your team to go to the next level while you aspire to grow and evolve into your own next steps.
To assist you in meeting these challenges we design with you a leadership development journey. Our Coaching include face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, emails, and may include meeting with your team.

Call or email us to find out about “Your 2009 Strategy” coaching program.

© Aviv Shahar