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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday early morning before I go to the Doctors.

This is an interesting article on an issue which all start ups have a problem with, managing the trenches while still being focused on the long term, and successfully communicating the same to the company, I was talking with the chairman yesterday and I had mentioned the lack of visibility to the whole organization of the vision of the organization and how we get there, what the individual contributors do to support to achieve the end game, we talked about it for a while and I came away with a personal challenge to try and fix it, in the time I have left with my present company. The article by Wil Schroter is the Founder and CEO of the Go BIG Network, he is an entrepreneur, with a good strategic grasp of what is what in the start up adventure.

Managing the Present while Focusing on the Future:
Staying focused on the big picture of your corporate vision is difficult when you're mired in the details of the day-to-day operations. Yet staying focused on the day-to-day details is what makes your big vision come to life. So how do you do both?
There's a bit of an art to managing the present while focusing on the future. The goal is to stack up the details in such a way that they continually build a stairway toward the big vision.
Having a ton of energy and enthusiasm for the future is of course a great attribute, but it can turn into a curse altogether if you don't learn how to focus your energy toward building your vision on a day-to-day level.
A Series of Small Victories
Any company that has achieved incredible growth has done so not through one amazing achievement, but from a series of small victories. It's not just the big customer contract that you landed last month, it was everything leading up to that event that made it happen.
The small victories are just as important as the big ones. The reason you landed that big account is because you thought to ask an old colleague out to lunch. During that time she informed you that a college friend of hers just landed a new C-level job at a company you wanted to pitch. That lunch turned into a useful introduction that turned into an opportunity to pitch your services.
Scoring the big victories, and ultimately achieving your goals, means constantly winning the smaller battles every day. Every additional contact you make, every feature your roll out, every process you improve at, is what transforms the company into your grand vision.
While those items may seem like the minutia, they are the items that really matter. Sure, a big client pitch that turns into a big piece of business feels like the kind of stuff you should be doing every day, but that's not realistic. You can't focus exclusively on the big items without zeroing in on the little ones that make them happen.
Take Small Bites and Chew Quickly
Yet if you're like most entrepreneurs, what's happening today seems like a bore. You're already thinking about where you're going to be next week, or next year, or in the next decade. It's your job, as the visionary, to be thinking well ahead of the game.
The problem however, with constantly living in the future is that you're not using your energy to get things done today that will make that future a reality. What you need to focus on is how to transform that energy into the satisfaction of just getting a little bit of work done today that feels like real progress.
Let's say, for example, that you wanted to create the next Microsoft. You wouldn't start by trying to develop Windows, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all at once. You'd be spread too thin and you'd fail miserably. Instead, you would focus on trying to take a small bite out of your vision and then grow from there, like Microsoft did.
You'll get to your vision a whole lot faster if you concentrate on taking smaller bites by doing smaller, focused projects. Taking smaller bites will allow you to chew more quickly, and move on to the next bite. If you really want to speed up the big vision, your best bet is to motor through the small details as fast as possible.
As you're motoring through those small details, all you need to do is pick your head up from time to time to make sure you're still on the right course. Strategy and planning are great, and they certainly help make sure you are headed in the right direction. But at some point you need to just put down the map and focus on what's right in front of you.
The Vision for this Week
Instead of just focusing exclusively on the big picture items, try taking a look at what you're going to get done this week in particular. If all of those items are collectively bringing you closer to your vision, then that's the only thing you need to focus on right now. Put all of your time and energy into accomplishing the vision for this week as quickly and completely as possible.
You want to walk out of your office at the end of the week thinking you've gotten something done. Focusing too much on being huge today makes you feel like you're never getting anything done and therefore creates an un-necessary distraction.
Creating your big vision isn't just about the big plays, although that's all you read about when you learn about the last company that got bought or went public. Creating your big vision is about short yardage plays and lots of successful first downs.



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