Skip to main content

#3 Synthesize Your Ideas - The AIM Leadership Roadmap

Synthesize Ideas - Blog 3 of 9 the AIM Leadership Roadmap

Synthesizing your ideas is the third step in the Commit to Action stage of the Roadmap.

The AIM Leadership Roadmap helps leaders who have a new mandate, new team, or who need new ideas to lead with confidence, accelerate impact, and deliver results in their leadership role. In this article series, I’ll break down the steps you can take to inspire growth in your people and your organization and build your leadership legacy. Want all the info in one place right now? Jump to The Definitive Guide to Leading in a New Role. 

Prefer to listen than read? The AIM Leadership Roadmap series podcast is available wherever you listen. Subscribe today. 

Today’s topic is Synthesize Ideas – Step 3 in the AIM Leadership Roadmap

Synthesizing your ideas is the third step in the Commit to Action stage of the roadmap – with a focus on you as a leader going from overloaded with too many things to do, to creating clarity and confidence to do what’s next. Once you have set your focus (step 1), and Assessed your situation (step 2), you’ll then want to synthesize your ideas to go from generating too many to do lists to picking priorities with purpose. 

Here are three actions to achieve this: 

  1. Capture all your Ideas – By this point you’ve conducted interviews, attended meetings, read documents and likely have copious notes, ideas, and action items to organize. This is also a good time to re-read some of those documents you read in week one. With more context and information, the content will be more relevant and make more sense. I always find I have a few ‘ah-ha’ moments after re-reading documents once I have more context. Gather all your ideas and notes together and start to collate and categorize what you have learned.
  2. Develop Decision Criteria – Now that you have a solid list of ideas, it is important to narrow them down! In order to do this, it is essential to make a set of criteria for why ideas will make it, or hit the cutting room floor. A two-by-two matrix is always a great place to start to plot your ideas. Your criteria might include ease of execution vs impact on the business, or cost to do (money and resources) vs impact on the business. Also consider what you’ve learned about how decisions are made and how actions are prioritized in the organization and consider how to apply those factors to your various lists. You know you can’t do everything, so having a set of decision making criteria will help you get focused and help you explain or justify any decisions you make. 
  3. Choose Priorities – You’ve got your list and you’ve narrowed it down with your decision criteria, now you need to pick your priorities. We’ve all heard of SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound – or a variation thereof). I like to think about being realistic when picking priorities in a new role. You will get faster and more efficient and effective at executing and implementing as you grow into your role, however, in the short term, it’s important to ‘bite off what you can chew’. You want to be able to show some wins – both for your own confidence and to earn the confidence of your new team. So put in some stretch when picking priorities, but remember to keep them realistic as well. Not all great ideas are achievable, and not all achievable ideas are great – this process aims to identify the priorities that are both. 

Download your free Situation Assessment Interview Guide to get started on the right foot in your new leadership role. 
In the next article I move to the Make an Impact stage of the roadmap with a focus on Aligning your Team.

The Confident Leader Kickstart Coaching Program
Do you want a sounding board and support as your start a new, exciting leadership role? Find out more about my Confident Leader Kickstart Coaching Program. Whether you're a new leader or a seasoned leader with a new mandate, working together will help you go from being new and nervous to calm and confident, and achieve the following outcomes:

  • Build Trust – develop trust and credibility with your new colleagues
  • Establish Expectations – know their expectations and communicate yours
  • Deliver the Right Results – choose the right priorities
  • Lead with Confidence – to inspire growth in your people and organization

Connect with me today – or book an intro call.