Think about your week. At this very moment could you honestly say that the priorities you and your staff have are helping you achieve your business’s long-term goals? Are they aligned? Are they somehow tied together? Are they moving you in the right direction? The answer for most of us is “probably not”. We get so caught up in day-to-day pressures that our long-term vision tends to fade – and sometimes disappears completely from view. And then our daily activities are simply driven by what feels like the most urgent issue or the hottest fire.
And after a while you know what happens? We look up and weeks and months have gone by and we have not moved virtually at all toward achieving our goals. We’ve lost our forest because of all those darn trees in our way! I don’t have to remind you that the trees MAKE the forest. Just like daily exercise and mindful eating every day leads to a healthier body over time.
I just think too often we get caught up in the daily “fire-fighting” and don’t stop to make conscious decisions about how our daily and weekly tasks are helping us achieve those long-term goals. In fact, for many of us there’s not much connection at all between what we do each day and where we’re going long-term. It’s important that you NOT lose that connection.
With a big thing looming out in the distance, its so critical to make sure that each step you take takes you toward that goal. So here are some ways to get your day business aligned with your long-term business.
Know The Destination
Too many companies are simply flying blind. They don’t have a long-term plan or vision in place. Either they’ve just never taken the time to do it or it just hasn’t been looked at in forever. And, yes I know, there are tons of fires to be put out every day, every week. Believe me, I get it. But you know what happens. Days turn into weeks which turn into months and before you know it another year is gone. And you’ve spent yet another year fighting fires or doing directionless tasks but have made no perceptible movement toward reaching your long-term vision. And it starts with simply HAVING one. No it doesn’t have to be a zillion page detailed document. But it needs to be clear. It needs to be understandable. It needs to be something your team is bought into.
How can you move toward achieving your goals…unless you know what those goals are? The truth is, you can’t. Your daily activities become more of a directionless ramble than a determined, purposeful walk down the path to your goals. Are those short-term activities taking you towards your vision? Who knows? Let’s just say you’d have to be darn lucky if it did.
Make sure your capabilities match your vision. Make sure that your vision is realistic and achievable. And what pieces you need to put in place to make it so.
Break It Down/Map It Out
Once you feel that you and your team have a solid handle on your longer-term vision, design a clear plan for how to achieve each part of it.
Your team should see a clear path from where you are today to where you want to be down the road. Everyone should be clear about the direction the path will take and what the milestones look like along the way.
Tie It Together
Now look at how you set your short-term priorities and what drives your shorter-term goals and actions. Is it driven by the day-to-day ebb and flow of your business? Is there any reference made to the company’s longer-terms strategic vision? No? Well, it needs to be. Those more immediate steps lead you in a direction. It’s either toward your destination or it’s not.
For each of your shorter-term priorities (your daily, weekly, and monthly goals), label which longer-term goal or which part of your vision that short-term priority is working toward. You should be able to define it. If not, perhaps you shouldn't be doing it.
Tying together your day-to-day activities with your longer-term vision gives your staff more direction, more purpose. They will see how the things they do short-term are important to helping your company achieve long-term goals. And isn’t that a lovely thing?
Those short-term actions are leading us SOMEWHERE. The question is, are they leading us toward some grand goals...or simply keeping us busy while we walk in circles or in random directions? Make sure you put some purpose behind the day-to-day priorities your company has – and before you know it you’ll see that your business is moving in the right direction – one with purpose, one with a direction, one with a conscious direction.
Please feel free to reach out and get in touch and let's explore how I can help you and your business succeed. No pressure. Just an informal discussion to explore some ideas. You can reach me at (713) 907-8429 or BCohen@IDiscoverConsulting.com I hope you are enjoying these blog posts If so, please help spread the word. Tell others about IDiscover Consulting Group and IDiscover Journal. Share these posts. Comment on them. I’d really love to hear your ideas!