Purpose Is Boss & Planning Is Key
“Slow and steady wins the race.” “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” “No man is an island.” “Good things come to those who wait.” “You get what you pay for.” I have heard these and so many other wise sayings all my life and I have even come up with one of my own (well its original to me any way…), “The team that works together grows together.”
One of the most incredible gifts in life is having a part in creating something and helping it grow. In my opinion there is nothing better than being a part of a high functioning team with a clear purpose, working strategically together to execute a well thought out plan.
In my years of working literally around the world with wonderfully different, challenging and incredible people, groups and organizations, I personally have learned 4 simple truths: (1.) you cannot grow by your self, (2.) you need to know who you are and what you stand for in order to be flexible and teachable (3.) it is vital to seek out and surround yourself with people you can identify with, learn from, trust and listen to, (4.) and you need to know your limitations and not be afraid to ask for help.
These 4 simple truths have led me to the discovery of 3 key elements that are an important part of building a strong foundation for the sustainable, long-term growth of any large group or organization. First, you have to know and be able to clearly state your purpose (why you are here and what you want to accomplish), second, take time to gather the right people and come up with a plan that is comprehensive and easy to communicate (where you want to go and/or take people), and third, have a strategy for getting the right people in the right place to execute the plan (how to grow and attract others). It is important to write these down and refer to them often. Without these 3 vital elements, combined with strong agreement and accountability, there is no way that you can consistently lead a large group of people, attract strong leaders or expect any sustainable growth. You will end up with many differing opinions, more critics than team players and very few if any good leaders. Change, creativity, strategy and relevance will become negative words and people will end up leading out of obligation and fear rather than passionate conviction.
The frustrating reality is that most if not all the people in a group or organization that lacks purpose, planning and strategy know that there is a very real and dangerous problem but refuse to do anything about it or don’t feel they have the time or safe place to say anything. Business, confusion, ambivalence and pride keep them distracted, making creativity awkward and change discouraging allowing fear, burnout and complacency to paralyze any hope for change. These 3 vital elements, purpose, planning and strategy are nothing new, hidden, complicated or hard to obtain. The reality is that when something is not working we just have to have the conviction and guts to acknowledge it and be brave enough stop doing what’s not working, find others who are passionate about purpose, planning and strategy and do the hard work with the right people to get back on track.
It all boils down to the simple fact that purpose is boss and planning is key. Strategy is nothing more than putting the right people in the right place once you know your purpose and have a plan. The groups and organizations that continue to attract great people and grow live by this and the groups and organizations that don’t… don’t.