A force of one

Effective planning requires self-analysis and focus

At first glance, it appears that Joseph A. Tucker Sr., president and CEO of Victory Personnel Services Inc., a Milwaukee-based, full-service professional and temporary staffing firm, was an overnight success. First-year revenues were $1 million in 1992 and doubled to $2 million the following year. However, Tucker has strategically mapped out Victory’s growth since its inception.

For example, upon entering the industry, he subcontracted small-scale staffing jobs with Milwaukee-headquartered Manpower Inc., an $18 billion global leader in staffing services. Then, during development of Victory’s 15-person advisory board a few years later, Tucker placed a retired Manpower executive high on his roster of potential consultants. Later, when Manpower actively sought to increase corporate diversity participation through additional minority-owned business contracts, some worth millions of dollars, Tucker was chosen as one of its suppliers.

Today, Victory boasts a contract staff of more than 500 employees in 36 states in addition to 15 full-time employees. Tucker projects revenues of $35 million for 2007 and ultimately wants to take the company’s revenues “north of the $100 million mark.”

While our own ambitions may be smaller in scale, we all have goals we want to achieve. “Planning is not only important, it’s critical” to the achievement process, indicates Thomas A. Gordon, a licensed psychologist and principal of TAGA Consulting, a leadership and organizational development firm in Philadelphia. Over the next three issues, we will take you beyond conventional wisdom to highlight effective planning strategies, complete with the application and resources to help you get started, regardless of your end objectives.

Effective Planning Strategies
Focus on the “why” and “how” as much as the “what” of your intended goals.
Application: Ask yourself questions such as: Where am I going? Who do I want to be? Victory started as a small office–catering only to Milwaukee–with plans to expand. In evolving into a national operation, Tucker strategized the “how.” He hired an on-staff CPA, set up payroll in a way that would anticipate out-of-state employees, and secured insurance with national coverage.

“You have to map out specific strategies for all the little details,” says clinical psychologist E. Carol Webster of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Think about your unique situation and create a plan to meet those specific goals.

Resource: Read Powerful Planning Skills: Envisioning the Future and Making it Happen (Career Press; $10.99) by Peter Capezio.

Discover the role your personality plays in your planning process.
Application: Do you tend to operate more by emotion or logic? Analyze your typical work style by taking a professional personality evaluation such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which can identify leadership tendencies and other relevant personality traits for more objective insight into your preferences for getting things done.

Gordon suggests balance through “a combination of structured attention and in-the-moment flexibility” as the best approach to planning.
Resource: Visit CPP Inc.’s Website (www.cpp.com) to read more about the Myers-Briggs test and other professional personality assessments.

Face adversity with confidence.
Application: Tucker respects Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre for playing what some consider his best game the day after losing his father to a sudden heart

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