Oftentimes we as entrepreneurs find ourselves responding to what the world throws at us instead of proactively planning for the future. It’s easy (well, easy-ish…) to show up to work every day and respond to what’s thrown at us.
When we do this, we set ourselves up for future disappointment when we didn’t reach our desired goal. To quote the great philosopher Yogi Berra “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
The first step in achieving our goals is clearly defining that, and we sometimes are too short-sighted or too long-sighted in this planning. High-performing leaders and individuals accomplish more because they set goals, set milestones, and achieve them.
As an EOS Implementer, the first 3 days I spend with clients are all about getting clear on the vision of the organization, and then clear on the plan to achieve that vision. To be compelling, the vision must be big picture, and must be clear to the whole team (not just the leader). To accomplish this vision, the plan to do so must be simple to understand and clear to execute. We start by clarifying vision by answering 8 questions together:
1. What are your core values?
Core values are the heartbeat of your organization, clearly defining the behaviors that define your culture, and informing who are the “right people” for your organization.
2. What’s your core focus?
This is the intersection of why you do what you do (what’s your purpose, cause, or passion?) and what your unique ability is as an organization. What is it that you can hone in on and become the best in the world?
3. What’s your 10-year target?
This is a simple, 1 sentence big goal the organization is chasing after. Jim Collins calls this a “BHAG” – big, hairy, audacious goal. It should scare you a bit, but it should be one you can rally the troops around achieving!
4. What’s your marketing strategy?
Who are your ideal customers? How do they think? What motivates them? What are the three reasons they would choose your company over your competitors? Our marketing efforts are maximized when we’re sharing the right message with the right consumers.
5. What’s your three-year picture?
This starts to take that 10 year target and make it real. We add some measurables – what does revenue look like? How about profit? We then paint a clear picture of what it looks like to be part of your organization in 3 years. If you can visualize it as a team, you can make it happen.
6. What are your 1-year goals?
Instead of overshooting what we can accomplish, we get the leadership team together and spend a couple hours deciding the most important things that must get done in the next year – but it’s only 3-7 things. Less is more. We focus on doing this well, and accomplishing these things become our focus for the year.
7. What are your quarterly rocks?
This just answers the question of the most important things that must be done in the next 90 days to make sure we hit those 1 year goals.
8. Finally, what are your issues?
Issues are not problems. They’re things we identify that are standing in the way of us achieving our vision. By being clear on these and including them in our lean strategic plan, we hold ourselves accountable to solving these and achieving our goals.
The tool we use to organize this vision and then share it with your team is called the Vision/Traction Organizer. You can download it for free on my website. This all comes from Gino Wickman’s book “Traction.” Feel free to reach out and I’ll happily send you a free copy. To be strong in vision, you’ve got to know where you’re going and make sure that vision is shared with your whole team.
Contact Drew Spurgers at 501-499-0170 or email@example.com
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