Gran’s lessons on strategy

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A lot of Grannies are wise. My Gran is one of them. She didn’t actually advise me on how to go about coming up with growth strategies in my personal or professional life per se. Her way of describing one of my ideas the other day inspired me to look to nature (it’s not naff, keep reading!), especially when I’m working on something complex.

“Big oaks from little acorns grow”

1. Where do you want to be?

To get to where you want to be, be clear about your goal. What are you aiming to achieve? It could be that your goal is to be an e-mail marketing specialist in luxury retail for the clothing sector. Then you need to think about the steps you’ll need to take into order to achieve that.

2.  How are you going to get there?

Break your goal down into objectives. Think of each of them like the branches. One of the most simple yet effective approaches to achieving this are to make sure your goals are SMART:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time bound

Keeping with the e-mail marketing specialist example, one of your first objectives may be to secure an internship at Burberry’s marketing department. Your second goal may be to attend 1 e-mail marketing workshop a month. Your third goal will be to network with the right contacts to secure a job in your area of interest.

They can all be undertaken at the same time.

Make your objectives SmartER by adding evaluation and re-evaluation steps.

3. What do you need to do in order to fulfil these objectives?

So you’ve come up with your goal and the steps that are going to help you fulfil this. Now you need to take action. Very rarely do things get handed to people on a plate (unless it’s a free dinner and even then there’s no such thing as a free lunch). Oprah Winfrey sums it up nicely:

“Luck is preparation meeting opportunity”

So consider the tactics and resources that you are going need transform your acorn (idea) into a flourishing oak (your dream job) that will reap more acorns (career opportunities).

Revisiting steps 1 and 2 should help you stay on-track.

Happy (metaphorical tree) growing!

Disclaimer: strategies probably require a more sophisticated approach than sunshine, water and oxygen (unless you goal is actually to grow an acorn tree).

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