“You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.” — Albert Einstein
I’ve often thought that it would be too hard to have a roadmap for your life journey as both a person and as a leader. That’s not really true – we all need a pathway to try to follow. Even if life constantly puts unexpected challenges in our way, having a “Roadmap” can provide us with clarity on where we want to go.
There are two components of an effective Roadmap: Personal Goals and Professional Goals. Here are some valuable components of both aspects of your map:
- Start with your Personal Mission Statement: Who are you? What do you do? Why do you do what you do? Keep it to two or three sentences.
- Next, what does success look like in your life? What would you like people you live and work with to remember you for?
- Then, examine what’s holding you back. We all have limitations and constraints. Some of mine: the tendency to be impulsive and impatient; I also struggle with the inability to focus (some call it the “shiny object syndrome”).
- After you’ve done this initial work, build a timeline for your Personal and Professional Roadmaps. I suggest a 3-year time horizon for each. Longer than that becomes highly speculative; shorter tends to narrow your focus.
The next step I’ve learned in the Roadmap Process is that you’ll likely need help building and sustaining it. That’s where an executive coach can be a huge help. Now that I’ve been doing coaching work for several years, here’s what I’ve learned about the relationship:
Trust is the foundation of an effective coach and “coachee” communication framework. You’ll know pretty quickly if trust is lacking. Don’t continue a relationship if you’re not willing to be vulnerable.
Go into this roadmap process with the willingness to have some tactical patience. Your Roadmap will be challenging to build, harder still to stay on course, and often frustrating – resist the temptation to quit and go back to taking life one minute at a time. If needed, make revisions to your Roadmap to reflect changing circumstances, finding ways to adapt while still keeping the same basic goals in mind.
What you’ll see over the course of a few months is that you can grow a new perspective on who you are and what you represent. Others will notice you have a renewed sense of purpose. When you and your coach build a Personal and Professional Roadmap and stay with it, the sky’s the limit of what you can achieve. As the saying goes, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
Enjoy the journey!
P.S.: If you have questions, or could use a coach to help you put your Roadmap into practice, feel free to reach out via our contact page.
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