Who doesn’t want to be successful?! Because there are as many definitions of success as there are people who want to achieve it, the end goal of this blog series is to answer the question:
Where does the journey actually begin?
You see, no matter how you may describe where you want or need to end up, and no matter how differently you describe your goal or destination; the chances are good we all have an ideal starting point. Where’s yours?
On May 18, 2015, I set out from St. Bees, a coastal village on the Irish Sea, to follow the 192-mile Wainwright Coast to Coast walk across England. Our final destination – the goal – was to reach Robin Hood’s Bay at the North Sea in 13 days. Unless our mission was aborted for some unforeseen reason, there was no flexibility around the deliverable of our goal. We only had 13 days.
Now imagine your personal or company goal. You have intentions, a map or instructions of some sort; the route is as clear as you can make it. There is a start, projected or definite end date, and you have some idea about the challenges ahead. Yet, you realize there are no promises about what you may find along the way.
Our trail was mostly unsignposted and passed through three very contrasting national parks. We set out with two maps, a less than adequate compass, a what to do book by the famous Henry Stedman and the assurance of a warm B&B bed at the end of each day.
When you stand back and look at your plan you have a general overview. What are you sure about? Are you ready? Is the team ready and fully packed, and what does this really mean given the challenges of your journey?
No matter how many times I had read the instructions and layout, by the end of the first two days, I realized execution was going to be harder than the written word. Great that I already had the Mt. Kilimanjaro experience that taught me the one slow step at a time philosophy. But the ups and downs of England’s Lake District was much more than anticipated. We had no guide. It was just us. And, the maps? We thought the way was clear, but we kept having to regroup and redirect our paths which cost us lost time and energy.
So, you think you have it all together? What happens if you’re in the middle of your day and an urgent client matter, or a different kind of alarm goes off … who responds to that? How quickly can you devise back up plans so that you can reach your day’s markers? Anticipate the need to look again and have the flexibility of a rewrite.
Stay tuned … see you next week on the trail!