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The Power of a Personal Strategy Map

“Your husband has probably got not much more than a month to live.”

Our home was already packed up, and on a container ship, this was the prognosis a week before my husband, two-year-old son, and I (6 months pregnant) were moving back to the UK from Australia. My husband had easily portable businesses, and I was transferring to the London office of the company I worked for. We decided to continue with our plans and make the most of whatever time he had left.

Happily, Steven’s life extended for nearly a year, and he had some brief time with his newborn son. Unfortunately, the London office closed, meaning that I no longer had a job, and on my husband’s death, I discovered that his businesses were also in failing health, and consequently, we were in a very difficult financial position.

The Power of a Personal Strategy Map

Fortuitously I had recently learned of the power of strategy mapping, and I considered, “Why couldn’t the same principles be applied to one’s life that I used with my clients?”

A strategy map is a cause-and-effect model and framework to identify strategic choices which create pathways to your purposeful ambitions, underpinned by your values, behaviours and capabilities that enable your strategy’s implementation.

On a piece of paper I made a drawing of the three pillars in my whole-of-life strategy: Self – Relationships – Work. I identified what I really valued in those three areas of my life and what I aspired to, setting some clear ambitions. Then I made conscious choices of the truly strategic priorities to get there.

As I drew it out into the strategy map structure, the story of my strategy emerged and came to life. The very act of articulating my personal strategy was the first step of making it happen.

Personal Strategy Map framework. Purpose & Aspirations, Relationships, Self, Work & Values

The Personal Strategy Programme

That was 21 years ago. My Personal Strategy Map has been my navigational guide on my life journey ever since. Every year I refine my personal strategy map and create a 3-6-9-12 month plan of commitments and actions to keep me on course.

Seven years ago I was persuaded to develop and share the methodology behind this approach with a broader community. This has now become the Personal Strategy Programme.

Have you started thinking about what you really value in the key pillars of your life?