The CEO’s Guide to Personal Planning

As a CEO, your responsibilities extend far beyond just running your company. You have stakeholders, employees, customers, and the public counting on you to lead effectively and prioritize societal uplift.  

In my years of experience, I have focused and written extensively on the leadership crisis. Unfortunately, the conduct of those in positions of authority often involves maintaining the counterproductive status quo of an anxiety-ridden and fear-based working environment. I encourage businesses to seek fully adult CEOs who embrace human potential throughout the organization of both shareholders and stakeholders. 

A key aspect of being a fully adult CEO is having robust personal planning practices. An organized, thoughtful approach to managing your priorities separates the good CEOs from the great ones. Moreover, it can expand your sphere of influence from the realm of your business to the broader world.  

With that said, I’ve outlined some practical strategies for developing a personal plan that will help you thrive in your role. 

Define Your Values 

Before launching into tactics, connect with your core values. What principles guide your decision-making and leadership style? Hopefully, you desire to lead with creativity, integrity, innovation, and a focus on community impact. Mapping your values provides an ethical North Star to orient all other planning. Referring to these tenets also helps you evaluate if new commitments align with the values that matter most.  

Identify Your “Big Rocks” 

Many people are often confused by the term “big rocks.” In plain terms, “big rocks” are your priorities. They are the goals, projects, and tasks that you must accomplish. Put another way, they are your mission-critical objectives. Many CEOs often struggle with several problems when identifying their priorities:  

  1. They have an overabundance of priorities. 
  2. They cannot differentiate between unimportant and essential priorities. 
  3. They let other things get in the way of accomplishing their priorities. 

As CEO, identifying your big rocks means ensuring you have a small, manageable number of clearly defined goals. Moreover, once you’ve set your priorities, a relentless commitment to accomplishing these goals is required. Accordingly, you must be intentional about not letting other less essential tasks get in the way. Great leaders recognize that they must keep control of their time and not be distracted by activities that are not priorities.  

Establish Focus Time 

Guard protected hours for establishing your priorities and working towards goals. Block focus time on calendars and defend it when others request meetings. In a world that is constantly spinning, during this time, let calls go to voicemail and silence digital notifications. The genius and insight emerge during quiet contemplation when you can connect disparate ideas, strategize deeply, and envision the future.  

Reset Through Rituals  

Establish personal anchors like morning routines, journaling, workouts, and enjoying hobbies to sustain energy and perspective. Rituals that reconnect you with purpose refresh your resilience and enable you to handle stress. For example, incorporating micro-breaks every 90 minutes reboots mental clarity. Even a short walk around the office or getting a coffee relaxes the mind, so you return ready for deep thinking. 


Many CEOs fall into the trap of believing they must make every decision or single-handedly solve every problem. However, this should not be the case if you’ve been developing employee leadership. Micro-managing overwhelms calendars while preventing the growth of junior leaders. Scrutinize recurring meetings and tasks that can transfer to direct reports. Empower others by delegating appropriate duties that maximize their development. 

Create Buffers  

Despite your best intentions, you will inevitably get stuck in meetings, pulled into crises, or delayed by unforeseen circumstances. To account for the unexpected, schedule time between commitments on calendars. Having spacers minimizes disruption when the unforeseeable arises or conversations run long. You get to your next meeting or task on time without feeling rushed.  

Automate Where Possible  

Take advantage of intelligent systems, apps, and software to automate administrative tasks on your plate. Tools like email triggers, proposal generators, appointment schedulers, and invoice payment systems streamline operations. These time-saving techniques allow you to focus energy on high-level strategy and creative problem-solving. Automation can amplify impact by working smarter. 


As a CEO, you have the profound opportunity to create value for many. But first, you must lead yourself well.  

By taking ownership of your planning using the above strategies, you can build the life infrastructure for sustainable success in business and beyond.  

Contact me If crafting an empowered leadership plan feels overwhelming amidst current demands. At Fritch Consulting, we specialize in helping top leaders align values, set priorities, and structure habits to help them and those in their sphere of influence thrive. Let me guide you toward becoming a CEO who makes the most of your potential impact.