Thursday, August 23, 2012

Strategic Planning

It's what I am doing at work right now. Collecting data. Setting goals. Building tactic tables. Thinking about return on investment formulas.

I always chuckle this time of year when I think about all the planning that goes in to my work life. And how little goes in to my family life.

I rationalize that I will get fired if I do not plan at work. Quite the opposite at home. Good luck firing me here. And sometimes I try really hard! Alas there is no employee code of conduct. No hierarchal ladder to climb. No HR department to vent your grievances.

In fact, we do not have quarterly reviews in this house. Or annual merit increases. No bonuses. Feedback usually happens sometime between "pass the potatoes" and "get the fork out of your sister's hair."

Mother and wife are the two titles I hold most dear. But without question the areas I spend the least amount of time planning for or measuring.

Or so I thought.

Truth is I DO PLAN.

The plan doesn't live in a Power Point presentation. But it absolutely lives in my head. I have long-term plans for how we'll celebrate milestones, save for college and build character in our children. I have short-term plans that get us through each morning and every night. Often, the plans come together in the car or during a meeting. And they live on lists all over the house and on sticky-notes attached to my work folders. The process may not be pretty, but it happens.


The output of my efforts can be measured in countless ways:
- clean sheets and folded towels
- school clothes laid out every night
- play dates, weekend activities, birthday parties
- college savings plans
- the menu for our back-to-school dinner

But the best measure of all are the smiles, hugs and kisses I am blessed with every day. At home, the coaching moments are more rewarding because they come from the heart. The "professional growth" and opportunities of being a mom and wife are endless. The office politics and art of compromise are a little sweeter here because the payoff is much more important. The conference rooms are much cozier and usually come with blankets, pillows (and toys for creativity).

How truly lucky am I to contribute and be a part of two work places? Two teams. Two organizations trying to make a difference in this world.

And how lucky am I that at least in one of those places, I get to be the boss:)

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