I work with small and medium business owners (SMBs) in the distribution sector and find they struggle with implementing meaningful strategic plans. As we know, corporate strategy starts at the top. Yet those at the top are often unsure which project should come next. This makes forming an effective plan difficult. To develop a strategy everyone can understand you need to pick the right team and make the right plan.

The Collective Good

Furthermore, to assemble an effective team to lead your strategic plan, pick the players within your organization who can work together.

In his book, The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni discusses building a cohesive leadership team. He advises that the team must be small enough (three to ten people) to be effective. Additionally, members must trust one another and be able to be genuinely vulnerable with each other. Lencioni writes: “At the heart of vulnerability lies the willingness of people to abandon their pride and their fear, to sacrifice their egos for the collective good of the team.”

Long-term Vision

To help with planning your strategy, I highly recommend you read Traction by Gino Wickman. Wickman has developed the concept of the Six Key Components of The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). Thus, in his model, the EOS is led by a person that facilitates a team based on a long-term vision. Wickman says: “With a clear long-term vision in place, you’re ready to establish short-term priorities that contribute to achieving your vision. You will establish the three to seven most important priorities for the company, the ones that must be done in the next 90 days.”


Wickman calls these important priorities Rocks. Rocks are bite-size chunks that are broken down into next steps with the goal of completion in 90 days. Team members meet regularly to engage in productive, unfiltered discussions of issues. The team leaves meetings with clear-cut, active, and specific agreements about decisions. They hold one another accountable to commitments and best behavior. Collective priorities and needs are focused on the larger organization rather than individual departments.

Pick and Plan

In conclusion, the cooperative effort necessary to implement a strategic plan is possible when you have a well-chosen team. By planning your next steps based on the needs of the larger organization, your business will grow. With a collaborative team and a carefully laid out strategic plan, you can pick and plan your way to success. Get tips and tricks like the above in The Art of Sales books. Or subscribe to the FREE monthly articles here.