Each year about this time, I am yet again reminded of just how short our time is.  This year will soon end as the others have – whether I’ve accomplished my big goals or not.  Lots of things to do, and less and less time left to do them.  Projects to be finished (and some still to be started) and much, much more.  I’ll be on airplanes nearly non-stop for six more weeks, along with family and community responsibilities too.  The holiday season is ahead of course as well – and we’re also waiting now to welcome a new grandchild into our family!

Ironically, it’s right in the midst of this regular year-end crazy that so many of us also work to craft new objectives and work plans for the year ahead and beyond.  (In fact, about three-fourths of our clients complete business plans in either the last couple or first couple of months of the year).  Crazy time indeed!

So, this week I’m nailing down the particulars of my own 2023 plan.  As always, it’s invigorating, but again with a lot ahead to actually do.  I’m reminded of Peter Drucker: “even the most grandiose strategies must eventually degenerate into work.”  Still, and to coopt a bit of the late John Lewis, it’s “good trouble.”

We’ve been greatly blessed with a roster of amazing clients, each pushing outwards into their own extraordinary future, and through them our firm is enjoying its best year ever (our thirteenth in business).  But this is only I think a glimpse of what’s ahead, and an even smaller piece of what’s really, truly possible.  We’re still learning and evolving each year, with much more to come.  Transformational thinking, to transformational action, to transformational results.

In 2023, we expect to grow our business faster still – accelerating to 2X (while looking ahead for 10X).  Our plan for next year includes:

  • Launching an all new, comprehensive, multi-stage process that fundamentally redefines strategic planning, leadership development, and transformational results for professional firms.
  • Publishing a new book on this new process, and engaging with many, many more to uncover what is possible, where to start, and how to get there.
  • Adding new, specialized services that create real value for client organizations and their business outcomes.
  • Preparing for the launch of something bigger still in 2024 – with truly transformational value and relevance to 21st century professional firm success.

Our plans might sound hyperbolic, over-hyped, and even (possibly) irrelevant.  I hope not.  Still, as the poet Carl Sandburg wrote (and I’ve believed for years) “nothing happens unless first a dream.”  So, I’m sharing our dream with you here today – for self-motivation, energy and engagement, and to tap into the accountability of the universe.  First you see, then you do – not the other way around. Living business and life – out loud!

Now, how about you?  What dreams do you have for yourself and your firm – for 2023 and beyond?  Are you taking time out of an undoubtedly busy moment – with too much to do and not enough folks to do it – to focus on your own path forward?  Are you concerned about the performance and sustainability of the business itself – or the team of people you’ve assembled?  Do you know for sure who will lead your company tomorrow, and whether they have the right skills and experience necessary to do it well?  Are you worried that a coming recession might erase much of the progress you’ve all made in the last few years – and put you right back to where you were a decade ago?

Of course, there are no guarantees in business, or in life.  Things happen, both good and not so good.  Still (and what I have seen now repeatedly, year after year over more than two decades in this work) is that the best of firms, and the best of leaders, push ahead confidently into an uncertain future with their own plan of attack – based first on vision, and then on strategy, and finally with a kinetic action agenda – and an expectation to get it all done.

When I look to 2023, I see ahead something amazing – and, frankly, no matter what happens in the market or economy.  Why?  Because the push to become extraordinary (whatever that means for you and me) comes not primarily from the outside, but from within.  1X to 2X … then 2X to 10X.  Velocity, acceleration, transformation.

We’re on the launch pad right now for what promises to be an exhilarating ride.  We’re counting down to lift off for an extraordinary 2023.  Time to get ready (check your belt) … here it comes.



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