Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring and the right wall

Stephen Covey notes that it is commendable and necessary to exert efforts to “climb the ladder” to reach our goals. However, he sagely advises us to make sure the ladder is propped against the “right” wall–our energy is exerted appropriately.

As blossoms bloom and flowers begin to spring up to the warming sun, it is a good time to look ahead and back, to make sure our “ladders” and our efforts are propped the most productive way.

Sometimes we get into a habit of operating based on what we have always done. That isn’t necessarily wrong. A lot can be positively said for maintaining an established routine, organization, or process. However, have you checked that process against your focus or proclaimed mission? Spring is a good time to take a new look.

First, what is your focus? Why does your organization exist? Hopefully, the answer is tied into a benefit or service, not to just making money. Hopefully, your legacy will be more than a beautiful casket at the end of your journey.

Second, are your objectives, goals and processes aligned as closely as possible to that focus. Is all of your hard work–your ladder to climb–leaning against the right wall? Are your efforts and energies aligned to get the maximum? Is what is done the result of careful consideration or merely a holdover from the past?

While watching those tulips struggle through the soil with colorful blooms, pause and take a few minutes – or hours – by yourself, with your team, or even in your family. Review what you are all about and determine if you are moving toward that vision.

[In a short time I will be making my new book: The Wrong Bottom Line and How to Fix It… Still: Critical Components, available.]