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Strategy Library

Strategy is tossed around pretty loosely these days, but we’re trying to lend some structure to those conversations. In this section, you will find helpful articles differentiating vision from mission, separating strategy creation from implementation, as well as other articles to help you create, sustain and execute your strategy.

Please check out the Featured Articles from our Strategy Library to get you started.

Perfection is the Enemy of Good … and of Done.

If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, you may have learned by now that perfection can actually be the enemy of good.

It’s also the enemy of Done … if you’re letting your desire for perfection get in the way of getting something done NOW and continuing to improve it going forward.

The same approach applies to your goals for 2018. Don’t shoot for perfection.

Shoot for DONE and keep strengthening your goals over time.

{{ subscriber.first_name }}, do  you want to make that approach part of your 2018 plan?

If so, why don’t you join me for a free webinar with my colleague, Michael Hyatt, entitled Navigate Your Way to Success in 2018: 5 Blunders That Can Shipwreck Your Goals (And How to Avoid Them).

I’ll be right there with you, taking notes to do what I can to make 2018 the Best Year Ever.

I hope you’ll join me.

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Don’t Let This Be Your Fallback Plan in 2018

As you formulate your goals for 2018, don’t let this become your fallback plan.

Go for it. Aim at that Big Hairy Audacious Goal (“BHAG” in the parlance of Jim Collins of Good to Great fame).

What have you got to lose?

While you’re at it, don’t miss out on the free quiz to help you evaluate what you’d like to achieve in 2018 in all areas of your life. It expires on Tuesday.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~Michelangelo

You can easily add your comment below, or by visiting our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. I visit them every day and look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.

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5 Tips from Winston Churchill to Overcome Any Storm

Are you having a bad day … maybe a bad week … even a few bad weeks in a row?

Could you handle it if you had to slog your way through a seemingly unending storm?

How Do You Achieve Victory Against Insurmountable Odds?

Yesterday, November 30, Winston Churchill would have been 143 years old. He died in 1965 but few modern historical figures are as legendary as Churchill.

It made me think on his countless pearls of wisdom I’ve enjoyed over the years. Some poignant, some funny, some rather cutting. I’ve sprinkled a few throughout for your enjoyment and amusement.

It also reminded me that in the face of life’s challenges, we CAN keep on getting on … and overcome them even when they seem stretched endlessly in front of us.

What Does the Future Hold?

The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may destroy it … but there it is. ~ Winston Churchill

The future is never clear enough and there are always unbidden passengers getting on the train … economic turmoil, political stalemate, terrorism, the wrath of Mother Nature … it’s a pretty long list.

“Let us go into the storm … and through the storm,” said Winston Churchill as he prepared England to confront the Nazi regime in World War II.

I thought this might be a touch of hyperbole as we face life’s challenges, but then I recalled that Churchill’s odyssey raged for five years, not just a day or a week.

Imagine Churchill, FDR and others slogging for five dreadful years through the greatest threat to civilization we have known.

How do we carry on the fight over a longer period?

Keep reading to learn how to overcome the Resistance …

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Do You Thrive on Paranoia? If Not, Why Not? If So … Then What?

Concepts about paranoia abound. Ask Andy Grove, Jim Collins, Muhtar Kent and me.

By any name, change is healthy, but it means you’ll have to dropkick some of the things you’re already doing … even if you’re in love with them.

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A rose is a rose is a tulip? No, that’s not right. A rose is a rose is … well, by any other name, I think it’s still a rose. Right?

We’re pretty famous in this country for euphemisms, aren’t we, particularly for unwelcome issues.

Eternal rest.

Cement shoes.

Adult entertainment … I think you catch my drift.

How would you describe the Entrepreneurial Mentality?

There are also a lot of ways that the entrepreneurial mentality has been described.

We first read about “constructive paranoia,” a phrase popularized by Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel in his book, Only the Paranoid Survive.

It’s hard to argue with his mantra:

Keep reading to understand the concept of Destructive Enrichment

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Are You Willing to Accept Defeat? If Not, What Will You Do To Prevent It?

If you’re like most, you love playing the game far more than you like preparing to play … in the sports world, better known as practice.

In business, as in sports, you’ve learned … courtesy of the school of hard knocks … that your success in the game is closely intertwined with how well you’re prepared to play it … how hard you have practiced.

 

On the eve of 2018, now is a great time to get prepared. There will be unexpected speed bumps to be sure, but having a plan is your greatest asset and advantage.

Summon the will to prepare … a commitment to getting ready with the same passion as you play the game … and you’ll set yourself up for the Best Year Ever.

You can easily add your comment below, or by visiting our Facebook Page or @Exkalibur on Twitter. I visit them every day and look forward to discussing these ideas and concepts with you.

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Great. Your 2018 Plan is Finished. Now What?

Finishing your 2018 plan feels great … but if you’re not working it with intense and relentless focus, it’s DOA. Try these  7 Steps to Annual Plan Success.

The harsh reality is that the so-called strategy formulation part is important … and as challenging as it may be, it’s by far the easiest.

For some reason, it just won’t implement itself.

 

Your 2018 Plan is just the Starting Line

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~Dwight Eisenhower

I know you’ve seen this quote before … because I use it like they vote in Chicago – regularly and often.

Why?

Because it captures the essence of the planning activity that so many executives miss. That includes the CEOs and senior executives who complain that the exercise of creating an annual plan is basically … worthless.

They usually say something like,

“ It’s a waste of time to create a plan every year … and a budget and a forecast to go with it … because the future is unpredictable and it never turns out the way we plan it anyway.”

Military strategist Helmuth von Moltke is famously known for this simple quote in response:

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.”

What’s your experience?

Keep reading so you don’t miss the 6-Pack of Annual Plan Success

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Are You Taking Steps to Get Ahead of the Next Disaster? | 12 Steps You Should Take Now.

The raging fires throughout Northern California now appear to be the worst fire disaster in California history.

It may seem like closing the barn door after the horse is gone, but now is a good time to consider what you can do to be better prepared for an unexpected disaster.

I know our friends, colleagues and clients in Santa Rosa and the wine country of Sonoma and Napa continue to suffer immeasurable pain and loss from the tragedy and devastation brought about by the raging fires in Northern California.

Our hearts and prayers go out to all of them, with best wishes for their personal safety and complete recovery from this unprecedented disaster.


Are You Ready?

Apart from calls to friends and family to make sure they’re safe, out of harm’s way and, hopefully, not facing property loss, the first thing I’ve heard from people everywhere is:

“Am I prepared if this happens to me?”


Continue to the Table of Contents & the Full Newsletter…

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“Learn-it-all” will always do better than “Know-it-all” … and a few tips on dealing with the tragedy of the NorCal fires

I know our friends, colleagues and clients in the wine country of Sonoma and Napa are reeling today from the tragedy and devastation brought about by the raging fires in Northern California, which at this moment, are still not under control.


FEMA offers a valuable article, After the Fire! Returning to Normal which may be helpful for those who are experiencing property loss. I also hope an article offering self-care strategies to cope with the emotional distress created by such tragedies, will bring comfort and solace to those afflicted.

A Few Ideas ….

This week, I’ve discovered some articles I want to share with you that touch upon some of the most fundamental challenges facing business leaders …

  • How to make sure you’re staying on top of what’s best for your organization,
  • Why strategy execution almost never happens,
  • Why people can’t get anything done in the office, and
  • Why the least likely suspect is spending more on employee benefits than product.

“Learn-It-All” Will Always Do Better Than “Know-It-All”


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Why You Should Care About Transparency? | 5 Tips to Get You Started

Are You Hoarding or Sharing Information?

More importantly, what does your team think you’re doing?

ARE YOU SHARING OR HOARDING INFORMATION?

When I began my business career in the 1970s, the word “transparency” was not in the business lexicon.

You knew what you were told … and you were told what someone thought you needed to know … but it was unlikely that you’d hear much about where the company was going or your role in it.

Prior to starting my own company in the early 1980’s, I can’t recall a single company-wide meeting at any of the companies where I worked … or any general discussion of the company’s performance or strategy.

IS THERE ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE POWER OF TRANSPARENCY?

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If You Want To Trash Your Brand … Here’s a Good Way To Do It

Any chance that you’re tone deaf? Maybe you should follow Paul McCartney’s example.

A brand anthem expresses to your customers the core values related to your brand and products, much like a vision statement expresses the core values of your company 


Are you trashing your Brand Anthem?

A few months back, I was sitting in an exceptionally beautiful church on Easter Sunday morning.

There were garlands of fresh daffodils and orchids draping the sanctuary.

Easter lilies were everywhere, consuming the floor of the chancel and the empty spaces on the altar rails. Small children were dressed in their Easter finery, sitting awkwardly in their new suits and dresses anxiously awaiting the Easter Egg hunt following the service.

Time for the Processional Hymn

Christians everywhere know that the hymn, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” also starts the Easter service and marks the procession of ministers and laity down the aisle to the altar.

It is unarguably the best known Easter hymn, a holiday staple like O’ Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World and other holiday songs at Christmas.

I pretty much know that Easter hymn by heart … sang it every year as a child … and can’t imagine an Easter service without it. Read What Happened to that Favorite Song

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