Aspiring to be tomorrow’s corporate leader is a big goal, and you would think it comes with the need for a great plan. I must admit I have been intimidated by people who have very detailed, written, five- and ten-year plans. I’m just not inclined to write one. But I have been successful and have a few thoughts on how I have achieved success. I hope it will offer insight to you.

In business today we do all kinds of personality and/or behavioral profiles that tell us how we are wired. I like these tools and have learned a lot from them.Ibelieve that understanding yourself is an important step in achieving your goals and it is an important part of your plan, written or not. Pay attention to the profiles you have taken.

They really capture elements or traits that can be used to build on. From these profiles, I have learned that it helps to not focus on gaps but build up strengths. It is necessary to assess if a gap is a key element of development. If the gap is vital, I work on it. I’ve also learned it is important to play to your strengths. You never see an athlete play a position in their gap; they play where they can win!

This leads to then ext part of my story and that is to give people you respect permission to give you honest and timely feedback. These are your valued mentors. How cool is it that the word “mentor” comes from the Greek mentos, meaning “intent, purpose, spirit, passion.” I never looked at the origin of the word and was inspired by those words when I did. My mentors are varied, from parents to peers to bosses. What is common is that they have seen more in me than I have seen in myself. So I do have a plan. It is just written with a different template. It is not a crisp matrix with milestones, obstacles, etc. (Are you reminded of templates you’ve seen?) My plan has led me to the people, skills and resources needed to achieve the successes I have had.