Have you set a goal that you haven’t achieved? Had an idea that never came to fruition? Looked back on something you wished you would have done?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Learning is not enough; one must apply. Willing is not enough; one must do.”
Most often it is the lack of action that has caused us to not achieve goals, not see an idea develop or created regret in a missed opportunity. The same can be true when we look at our strategy. Oftentimes, we focus a great deal of attention on our strategic thinking, preparing objectives and developing our ideas for the future.
But what happens next? How successful are you at taking those ideas and putting them into action?
Creating action can be one of the most challenging aspects of leading a strategy. One factor that hinders action is what CMOE calls “Taming the Beast”. You have to possess discipline and determination, carving out the time you need, aside from the operational demands that vie for your attention.
Having clear strategic priorities will help you facilitate action. As you begin your strategic journey and begin implementing your ideas, it is wise to have identified clear markers or milestones that will reflect your progress. You wouldn’t begin a trip without checking a map or a GPS to assure you are on the right course, likewise, you don’t want your strategic venture to get off track because your path became unclear along the way.
Examining where you are, where you want to be and what steps are necessary to get there will assure that you are proceeding with the purpose you desire.
However it is important to understand that strategy is not stagnant and should be a learning process. Stay flexible as you make discoveries.
It may be necessary to refine some of your objectives along the way, but take caution so that when you make decisions, they are strategically consistent and remain focused on your ultimate goal. Even being one degree off can produce much different results than you desire.
At times, it may be necessary for you to take risks and act even in the face of uncertainty. Staying determined, focused, and holding onto your convictions, will help you be an active force in the creation of the future you envision.
As you hit bumps and roadblocks, and you will, don’t allow discouragement to derail you. Allow yourself to learn from these experiences. Adapting your strategic plans to overcome the obstacles, will allow you to build your strategic endurance and create a sustainable competitive advantage.
In an article by Inc. titled 8 Things Remarkably Successful People Do, it says “You can be good with a little effort. You can be really good with a little more effort. But you can’t be great—at anything—unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort.” I guess it is true what my mother used to tell me, actions do speak louder than words.