Hope isn’t a strategy. Action IS!
For most of us, this is the time of the year when hope springs eternal. We’re revved up for an exciting new year, determined to change all of the things that didn’t work last year so we can pound the ball out of the park in 2014.
Nothing wrong with any of that.
Commitment, momentum, focus … these are the energies that will fuel our engine and help us jumpstart 2014 with the vigor and rigor that we need to make this year the most successful ever.
Are your initiatives starting to drag just a bit?
The gum does kinda lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight, doesn’t it? We don’t get far into the new year before we discover that it’s much easier to start than to finish.
We struggle to keep the engine stoked with the same energy that propelled us into the New Year.
We begin to feel some of the air already coming out of the tires, and begin to wonder … “where did that new-found energy go”?
What’s that whimpering sound?
It comes back to that whimpering sound of “hope springs eternal.” [pullquote]Hope is a powerful emotion and inspires great things, but it will become an embalming agent if you don’t get moving and take action now![/pullquote]
It can give us the strength to launch new initiatives – and to renew our conviction – and while it sure is comforting to know we still have a chance, hope isn’t bring with it the tools we need to sustain those initiatives.
If we only needed one big burst of energy, say to set the world’s pole vault record on that one single jump, maybe it would be enough … IF it was built during all of the preceding years on a foundation of relentless preparation and training that we could sustain until that one big moment.
Build the tools. Blow up stuff that isn’t working
So, instead of just revving the engine … focus on building the tools, the infrastructure and the support systems that enable you and everyone on your team to excel in their roles and exceed expectations.
To do that, you need to objectively assess the systems and procedures available to execute on the strategy you’ve established. (You have one, right?)
Don’t be timid about it. Set the fires you want to burn. Don’t be afraid to blow up the things that aren’t working, slay the dragons, kill off the tired assumptions that have hampered your success in the past.
The tools today are exceptional … affordable … accessible
Only care about what works today.
You know, as well as I, that we live in a world of technology prowess, with powerful tools of global communication, integrated processing, collaborative work processes and a boatload of productivity tools at our command.
They’re getting cheaper every day, and younger people entering the workforce are wed to them like sunshine to daylight.
Invest in them … use them … and make sure they’re implemented to help you maximize your productivity and boost your effectiveness so you can achieve the results you need.
Remember the mantra: Ready. Fire! Aim.
Empower your people.
Set the direction but let them help you figure out “how” to get things done.
Let them experiment, let them fail … let them know that “ready, fire, aim” is okay – that you’d much prefer action that occasionally misfires than no action at all.
Make them believers in your cause, let them become evangelists for the freedom you give them … to dream with you, to be innovative and enthusiastic about helping you build a successful business that will sustain everyone.
Prove to your colleagues that you will “walk the walk”
Above all, invest in the tools.
Empowering people means enabling them, and that means providing the resources that “walk the walk”.
It puts teeth into your strategy execution so that the sweat and tears to develop that strategy weren’t in vain. Of course, if you don’t have a strategy, you’ll probably wish you did as you try to prioritize and sequence the tools that need to be implemented.
Yes, the best time to have a map is when you enter the forest … but it’s never too late to develop a strategy that provides the centerpiece around which you can evaluate the tools that are most important to accomplish your mission.
What are you waiting for?
Gather the troops.
Ask them what they need to carry out your strategy.
Marshall your limited resources … but also invest in them to create sustainable momentum that will move the needle and help you build a successful business.
Hope is NOT a strategy – action IS. Question: What do you think is the force that slows us down once we launch into something new? (Leave your thoughts in the comments below.)