Happy Holidays: New Year’s Priorities/Focus and Option Solving


As the holiday season arrives, with New Year closely on its heels, many people will be thinking about their focus and priorities for 2010. Success in this endeavor could make the difference between feeling you had a great year, this time next year, both personally and professionally, or feeling quite frustrated owing to inadequate progress in both departments.

Perhaps this means we have to consider completing two Option Solving exercises, one for our career and professional lives and the other for our personal lives. So maybe it makes sense for me to move forward on my career and professional side for now and then we can address the personal side in my next posting within the next 7 days.

As per the book, “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” (see Order Book): the first thing we have to formulate is the most effective question. In my case, it could be : “What is the most important factor that I have to focus on during 2010 within Leadership Solutions (see Website www.ileadershipsolutions.com-click on) in order for it to continue growing, increase its client and brand awareness, and maximize its income stream for future client value investment?”

Once this question is established, then I can determine the two most likely bookends (see Chapter 3 in the book). By putting these in place, they will help to frame my thinking and, because of their extreme nature, will challenge my intuitive mind to surface the most sensible and valuable alternatives. Two bookends which most immediately spring to mind are: 1) Take an opportunistic and undefined approach, and at the other end 2) Invest my energies in a totally fresh market direction.

Now in your case, you also have to develop a meaningful question and then two bookends to prod your intuitive mind to encourage you to become imaginative and thoughtful about next year’s potential priorities and focus. Once the question and bookends are in place, you will sense your intuitive mind pushing your bookends away “out of sight” as it attempts to come up with the most realistic priorities (options) for your 2010 year.

In my particular case, I thought of eight different potential focus areas, four of which were: A) Write a second book, or C) Develop more products/leadership tools, or E) Further develop this blog, or G) Develop some new clients (see Latest Example).

Owing to the interdependability of the choices, it will require the maximum distillation by my intuitive mind to come up with the best option. To enable this to occur, it will require an adequate period of “emotional distancing” (see Chapter 7 in the book) to really permit my intuitive mind to weigh the pros and cons and make the necessary “trade-offs” to make an optimum choice. It will be able to do this based upon the countless experiences and stories I’ve heard or read over the years.

Consequently, I’m going to sleep on them tonight, asking myself the earlier question and looking at my eight options before I go to sleep. When I wake up tomorrow, the first choice that comes to mind will become my primary focus for 2010. That’s not to say I will ignore the others: they will be attended to as things unfold.

One other thing I will probably do, as a counterpoint, is to ask my colleagues for their input. I will take an independent poll and, if I’m lucky, they will agree with my choice. If not, I will take their poll into account and have another night of emotional distancing and respond to my intuitive choice the following morning – choosing between their option and my original option. Whichever one my intuition lands upon will then become my primary focus for 2010.   (NOTE: Next week we can deal with your personal focus for 2010.)


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