I believe in long range planning. I know, I know. I have heard the arguments on why it doesn’t work any more: the speed of change, the need for agile adaptive planning, real time learning, etc. I agree with these current realities, but unless you lead with a clear and compelling view of the future, you may move but never arrive.Unless you lead with a clear and compelling view of the future, you may move but never arrive. Click To Tweet
I have used the tools of planning in my personal life for years (note the post on how Rodney and I do our planning retreats) and recently had the joy of celebrating the priceless experience of reaching a goal.
My Dad turns 90 this November. A couple of years ago, I asked him to share some ideas about some places he would like to go. In that conversation, he told me he had always wanted to go to Alaska. That conversation lead to two years of planning that ended in an amazing land and sea experience with the beautiful state of Alaska. I have a lifetime of stored memories with my Dad. Priceless.
Here area a few leadership takeaways:
1. Take the time when you have the time.
My Dad turning 90 was the driver for this trip. I am so thankful I decided to take Dad’s dream to go to Alaska and make it happen. The memories are priceless. We took the time and made the time for the trip.
2. A view of the future really does matter.
You have to stop, ask questions, and think beyond today. The work of today is overflowing but it is critical that you step out of today and think about the years to come.
3. Planning makes things happen.
I met with people who had gone to Alaska, I did research on Alaska, I met with a travel agent to plan the right trip for my Dad to make sure he had a full Alaska experience. We had to make some reservations over a year out. There were several key decision points that we made together but it required lots of action steps to put the full trip together.
4. Life and work goes on without you.
Taking off for two weeks is a big deal but you will quickly learn that life moves on without you.
5. The pause is good.
It was good to let my body and my mind adjust to a new pace. We slept a little later. We weren’t rushed. We went at Dad’s pace which is a little slower. It took a few days to totally unwind but it felt so good.
6. God is bigger than you.
Alaska is such a huge state – the mountains, the lakes, the glaciers, the whales, the rainforest, the eagles, and so much more. The majesty of God is expressed through His creation. It is good to soak it in and to be in awe of the creator.
7. It’s the people always.
The people of Alaska were beautiful, warm, and friendly. I loved hearing their stories of family and life. They love their state. Many had traveled from other parts of the world for a visit, fell in love with Alaska, and returned to live. It was a special blessing to see churches throughout our visit and to even step in one doing a summer program for children.
If I hadn’t planned for it, this trip wouldn’t have happened. I don’t know how many more years I will have time with my Dad but I do know the memories of reading scripture, praying, talking, laughing, being in awe of the beauty of Alaska, and just being together will have an impact on me for years to come.
One day, we looked out over the beauty of the snow covered mountains ofAlaska and we read David’s prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:
“May You be praised, Lord God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name.”
Have you taken time to slow down this Summer and/or celebrate with those you love? I’d love to hear! Comment below!