5 Steps to Build a Bridge to the Life You Want

The secret to life's success involves a plan - one that is reviewed and tweaked at regular intervals.

Book Review

Strategy for You: Building a Bridge to the Life You Want
By Richard Horwath
Greenleaf Book Group Press

Rich Horwath, the founder of the Strategic Thinking Institute and author of “Deep Dive” compares corporate business planning to personal life planning. According to statistics based upon research conducted by Harris Interactive, as well as his own, only 15 percent of those surveyed had a written plan for their life, and of the executives queried 82 percent said they had a written strategic plan for their business, but only 22 percent had a life plan.

Citing another survey of 1.7 million employees by Gallup, only 20 percent felt that their jobs matched up with their strengths. Horwath also presents research published in the Harvard Business Review identifying the number one cause of bankruptcy: the absence of a plan.

He uses this information to support his five-step thesis for life-changing success, both personal and professional:

  • Discover the purpose in your life — what you want and why.
  • Differentiate your unique strengths — the abilities that set you apart from others.
  • Decide how best to allocate your time and talent — decide what to do and what not to do.
  • Design an effective action plan — your StrategyPrint for life.
  • Drive your plan to ultimate success — without being pulled or distracted into other activities.

He also suggests that the age old corporate SWOT analysis is applicable to individuals just as it is to companies. So is developing a mission statement, strategies, and tactics — basically – a personal strategic plan.

Horwath concludes, that if a company does not have a strategic plan today, they may not have a business tomorrow. The same thing applies personally because without a life/career plan that allows you to work at what you enjoy, you can easily become part of the 80 percent whose job does not match up with their strengths.

The obvious consequence is that life is awfully long if you are working at something you don’t like to do. Nor, will you be able to maximize your earnings potential.

Your career plan is your personal business plan. Horwath offers his StrategyPrint template readers at www.strategyskills.com, and explains how to use it in the book.

He suggests that it is important as you develop strategy for your life to have a regular tune-up, like corporations do with their quarterly reviews, to identify what’s changing around you and adjust your strategies accordingly.

The author closes with some haunting questions for the reader:

  • Are you where you want to be in your career?
  • Are you where you want to be in your life?
  • You and you alone can set your strategic direction.
  • You and you alone will decide if you’ve reached your full potential.
  • You and you alone will look back on your life with great joy or great regret.
  • The choice is yours and yours alone!

While many books have been written on career planning, few have compared the process to strategic business planning. It is a helpful and quick read for CEOs and their employees alike, one that should motivate both to ask — what’s the plan?


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