“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do”
Does your strategy lead to the results you want? If not, then your strategy and planning is flawed. The essence of a good strategic plan is one that produces the results you want. I have found there are four distinct reasons why people and organizations do not get the results they want.
1. The desired results are not clear – We don’t know what we want.
Without a clear target or expectation of what we want, we can do a lot of things and never produce the results we want. This is one of the hardest things to do. It requires putting some bounderies around our expectations and defining what we want specifically and by when. If your strategy is fuzzy, you will get fuzzy results. The more specific, the easier it is to develop the tactics that will produce the desired outcomes.
2. There is a limiting belief or mental block that is holding us back.
We all know the phrase about what happens when we assume things. If you have the assumption that the economy is bad and that is why people are not doing business with you, then you will just suffer the consequences of a bad economy and get the results you get. I can’t tell you how many times I hear the economy or the market as an excuse for why the business results are what they are. The reality today is that the market is at an all time high. However, our belief about the market may be holding us back from developing a new product or providing a new service.
We have to identify the limiting beliefs and ask ourselves these 4 questions from Byron Katie.
1. It it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it is true? (yes or no)
3. How do you react or what happens when you belive that thought?
4. Who would you be or what would you do without that belief?
What we find is that most of the things that hold us back are made up in our head. Change the thinking from why not to why not us. Somebody out this is winning at what you are doing. The first step is to believe that you can be the winner as well. Without that, you have no chance.
3. There is no plan.
I am shocked at how many businesses I encounter that have no plan to achieve the results they want. They believe that if they just work harder and longer doing what they are doing, then they will grow or achieve what they want.
While hard work is necessary, lets work smart as well. Let’s be intentional about what we are doing with a clear objective in mind. Stephen Covey in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” says that the first three habits are: 1. Be ProActive, 2. Begin with the end in mind, 3. Put First Things First. This sounds very much like developing a plan and executing it.
You don’t build a house or a building without a set of plans. It would cost too much and take too long. However when we try to produce our results, we do so without a plan. It will always cost more and take longer without one.
4. We don’t follow the plan.
This is the one that makes me crazy. We can have the best strategy or plan, but if we don’t execute it, then what good is it. We don’t believe it will produce the results we want, or we are not willing to do the work necessary to get the results we want. In either case, I say, see number 2. There is some limiting belief or thinking that is holding you back.
Think strategically, plan accordingly, execute with passion, and get out of your own way, and watch what happens to your results.
Have an awesome week.