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Know Thyself

By Joe Tillman | 10/17/2012 | 9:10 AM

Strategic PlanFor the past year, I’ve spent some time learning more about myself. The things that drive me, my strengths, the skills I need to improve and the steps I will take to work on them.

During this process, I created a strategic plan for my life. To make it a balanced plan, I focused on my personal and professional lives and aligned them to my overall vision with four key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor my success.

As with a business, we need a strategic plan for our lives. It allows us to evaluate important decisions we need to make.  For example, you’re interested in getting an MBA. How does that move you closer to achieving your overall vision? Are you able to achieve your overall vision without it? Or maybe you should pursue a MS in Logistics? By having a strategic plan in place, you can better determine the right decision for you.

Before creating your strategic plan, I suggest talking with yourself to know yourself better. (But not out loud – that could have a detrimental effect on the planning process.) This requires taking a few assessments and a bit of an investment on your part.   

First, understand your strengths. StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a great tool and book to understand where you should focus your goals.

Second, understand your personality type. Essentially understanding who you are and how to be the best YOU possible. I really like the Enneagram (I’m a Loyalist with a Seven Wing) and the Kolbe Index (I’m a 7634). Myers-Briggs is another option and one of the more frequently used by university career services (I’m an ISTJ).

Finally, identify the skills you need to improve. Communication, relationshipping, leadership, courage, flexibility, creativity, responsiveness, analytics, and collaboration are great skills to develop and improve upon.  

For me, I’ve learned not to read too much into things, not to internalize my thoughts and, most important, to stop waiting for something to happen. Create it!

I’d love your feedback – and would love your help in sharing questions and comments about being a young professional. If you have a question, comment or feedback, please send me an email to [email protected].  The blog on the last Wednesday of each month will be a question and answer session from those that I receive from you, my audience. If I use your question, I will send you a free copy of a book mentioned in that month’s posts. 


Image: strategic business plan –part2 by Business Ideas Alasha Davis via Flickr CC



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About Joe Tillman

Joe Tillman

An enthusiastic and dedicated professional, Joe Tillman offers supply chain education and research through his company TSquared Logistics. Joe has a keen interest in all things supply chain and uses his high-energy approach to life to author articles for industry publications, blog on young professionals for DC Velocity, and speak to supply chain industry groups. He also co-leads the Warehousing Education and Research Council's influential annual benchmarking study, "DC Measures." Prior to founding TSquared Logistics, Joe worked with Supply Chain Visions as a senior researcher and consultant, Wal-Mart Logistics as a distribution professional, and Union Pacific Railroad as a conductor. Joe is certified in transportation and logistics (CTL) by AST&L and SCOR-Professional certified by the Supply Chain Council.



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