This week’s focus: Last week I met with a director who had recently joined a new business. He was very busy, and a little confused. We quickly identified four key objectives for a 90-day plan, which helped my client sort out what was truly important.

What works for a new executive is just as effective for someone who has been several years in the same role. I believe that 90-day plans are effective because the period is short enough to focus the mind and create some urgency, and long enough to take real action.

But the real reason they work is that they help you re-connect with your real priorities. Without priorities you are at the whim of external requests and activities, remaining busy but achieving little. Once you’ve identified and focused on a small set of priorities, however, you can become hugely productive and can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Off the record: An Audience With The Pope by Elbow

I have an audience with the Pope

And I’m saving the world at eight

But if she says she needs me, she says she needs me

Everybody’s going to have to wait

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.