Time is your most important scarce resource. Does anyone have enough time in this information overload age? Gadgets are blasting us—tempting us with “news” stories that we all too often chase down with regret. TVs give too many options, yet people still lament there is nothing to watch. T.S. Eliot had it right decades ago when he wrote, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”. People have way too much information and way too little of what they really need—wisdom, and the focus to implement it. There is urgency all around in a world that needs importance.
There are numerous examples in the Bible about pride and its consequences in the lives of leaders and followers. And, having worked over the years with hundreds of leaders, and having interviewed over 5,000 of them, I have seen so many leaders like those in the Bible. I have witnessed their disgrace, as written in Proverbs 11: 2 (ESV); “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble wisdom.” In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pride leads to every other vice; it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” And pride prevents you from serving God.
In thinking about the area of strategic leadership it’s important to understand that being strategic about your organizational culture is as important as being strategic about marketing, the product or the service your company provides. Executing on your strategic plans is primarily a product of the company culture. To use my friend Jim Eaton’s language from Kingdom Partner Solutions, “execution must become a cultural competency”. Giving proper attention to the company culture is a key responsibility of the primary leaders if you want to see long-term sustainable growth and a healthy work environment.
It was 12 noon on September 23, 1857 when Jeremiah C. Lanphier, a business leader and city missionary, sat down alone in an empty third floor room in the Old Dutch North Church at Fulton and Williams streets in the heart of lower New York City. For weeks, he had gone door to door and passed out leaflets inviting business leaders around New York to come and pray with him. Unfortunately, no one showed up to pray. The church had fallen on rough times. Some parishioners had moved away, yet the business neighborhood was teeming with immigrants and laborers.
A revolution in what previously had been a largely organized and focused life was to take the 4 Disciplines of Execution Seriously. It played out in two ways:
Enterprise. Business planning and strategy has 1-2 action steps tied to annual strategies in any quarter. Never more. And, no person has ownership for more than two such actions. It is ok for them to have just one.
Personally. Each day I list 1-2 key items that are the musts for me to accomplish.