Everyone’s Story

I read a LinkedIn post calling for simplified versions of Strategic Planning.  One contributor referenced their book, The Six Hour Strategic Plan, which offers fascinating approaches.  The barrier to simplifying any process is that one must draw a boundary and eliminate the infinite possibilities.  If we took note of every individual’s story in the above painting that hangs in the Louvre, the task would be laborious   But if you know that you are seeking those in a starring role who sit on the stage, the story-gathering is more focused.

Remarkably there can be clarity.  The real challenge is knowing what you believe and how you can deepen your connection.  Then you can work on the pathway to reach them.  The ridiculous part in this methodology is being willing to ignore everyone else, no how compelling their narratives.

What is your focus?

There is a well known rule in racing, you go where you look.  See a stone wall on the outside of corner and stare at it too long, you may just find it unavoidable.  See a gap between competitors, you can squeeze through.  Spot a smooth section of road, you enjoy the experience of riding on silk.

We gravitate towards our focus (maybe not precisely) but powerfully enough that it is a law of attraction.  Where is your focus?  Barriers, paycheck, saying ‘yes’, a new world view?

On Time

How important is punctuality?  If you are attending a meeting it may or may not be essential, depending on your role.  Catching a train in Switzerland being on time is critical.  What does it do to the moral of your team if there is a habitual late arriver?  Does it matter?  Do you notice a change in the chemistry of the group when a frequent later arriver offers a half-hearted explanation.  Or are you happy they attended?  Sometimes little distraction keep us from the most significant areas of focus.  If they are not addressed they can be the nail that loses the war.

Not A Moment of Thought

This morning, I have been watching two Mallard drakes chase each other around the wetland area near our house.  One duck is clearly obsesed with chasing another one from the pond, forcing his nemesis into the deep reeds.  All the while, the two hens are being courted by a third duck that just arrived.  Had the dominate drake payed attention to the hens he had claimed then perhaps he may have not been usurped by a stealthy opportunist.

Typically, as a company grows larger it spends more money on market research and analysis of its competitors.  Numbers are sliced every conceivable way.  The more effort that is put into market research, the less innovation takes place and suddenly everyone is at a square dance responding to the same caller.  The real trick is to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and chemistry.  If you dedicate yourself and your cause to fixing the problem that ultimately energized you to launch your enterprise, you are on track.

Are you giving your competitors a moment of thought and chasing them around the pond?  Are you staying focused on your purpose or distracted by those in your peripheral vision? 

Thinking About the Next Hole

As a very infrequent golfer, it does not take much to get me thinking about something other than the stroke I am executing.  When you hear professionals speak about competition, they often acknowledge that a poor result on a hole was due to their inability to stay present.  They start thinking about the next obstacle.

What are you focused on, right now?