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Posts Tagged ‘Voss Graham’

Obstacles to Strategic Thinking

Obstacles to Strategic Thinking come in many different sizes and shapes, yet, they can have negative impact on an organization’s ability to successfully create their future. There are a number of obstacles that are common blocks to successful and effective strategic thinking. As a leader, you must be prepared to recognize these obstacles and make choices to minimize their negative effects.

There are eight primary obstacles that occur in most organizations. It is your job as a leader to recognize these eight and focus upon the real goal of creating a clear pathway to the future. Here are the primary eight obstacles…

Three Strategic Planning To-Do’s during Tough Times

I had an interesting discussion last week with an executive who suggested that Strategic Planning was of NO Value during this economic downturn. This was intriguing to me as a short sighted statement from a very smart individual. Sorry if that sounds arrogant, yet, I have experienced this type of economic downturn in a regional group of states during the mid-80’s. And, the key to surviving is to totally understand your options and making the critical choices for success. Winging it is not an option.

Assuming that you agree that Strategic Planning is still – if not more – important today, what do you do differently in your strategic thinking process? There are three things you want to cover in your current planning activities. These include the following…

Performance or Politics – Which is More Important to You?

Today I’m expanding on yesterday’s post by asking the question…

Performance or Politics – Which is More Important to You?

I’m asking this question because of two reasons…

  1. It’s Your Choice
  2. It has a direct influence on your long term status in your job

Let’s look into these two reasons.

Do You Play to Win or Are Style Points More Important?

This past weekend while doing my thing – watching college football games (SEC games, too) I had one of those ah ha moments. And, in this case, it was about how you win.

It seems my favorite team is winning all their games, yet, they are not running up scores or running away from the other teams. They are just winning. And, it seems a large number of their fan base is up in arms because they are not winning with huge score differentials. Yet, they are playing tough and are winning the games no matter where they are played.

As I thought about this situation, winning their games with disgruntled fans. I began to think about companies that are winning the earnings battles every quarter and hitting their numbers – yet are not blowing away the competition in the process. Sound familiar? Only this time it is the talking heads of the business news programs who are trashing the companies and their managements with all sorts of personal opinions about their ability to perform at high levels.

It is almost like the sports talking heads and the business news talking heads get together and decide who they want to trash during their sessions and then see what happens. It appears their mission is to stir up trouble for the organizations – sports and business – to see how others will response or react.

In the sports arena, the fans and the pollsters get together and talk about things that in some cases they know nothing about – but they heard it from a “reputable” source. My personal opinion is some of these reputable sources really don’t know what they are talking about! Some do, and they usually explain their position in a very logical fashion – while missing a very important point – the team or organization is winning their games! Hello! Are you really keeping score?

Style points are cute and give others something to talk about – except in some cases it has nothing to do with the will of character. To me, I learned that character and the will to win are the backbone of high performance. My grandfather who was a very successful and humble man was a big time winner. He did things that others could not figure out how he did it – but he did and on a regular basis. He taught me that the will to win is a personal driver. He shared that being flashy or having a big ego did not relate to being a real winner.

My question to you? Do you and your organization play to win or to show for some external group? Real winners know what they want to accomplish, set their goals and objectives and move to execute on these things in a consistent and meaningful way. No show boating, no style points, only focused attention on getting the real things done.

Finally, beware of the talking heads, for they are in the game for show rather than reality. Focus on the target and resist the temptation to be distracted by these people. They are not accountable or responsible for any real performance.

Increase Accountability to Increase Performance

Every manager or C-level executive I talk with tells me how important it is to increase the performance of their organization. They continue to tell me how great it would be if everyone on their staff performed at higher levels. After listening to these common comments about their organization and their people, I ask one question…

So what methods are you currently using to track and measure personal accountability?

Most of the time I get one of three responses:

Success and Character – Part Two

Character is the twelfth C in the twelve part series of the C’s of Success. Part two covers the organizational side of character.

Character can be considered the ultimate indicator of true success at both the individual and organizational level. Character can dramatically separate organizations and are usually a mirror image of the leadership’s character.

What is Character?

What is character? The dictionary defines character as…

The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing; moral or ethical quality; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity; reputation, having a good repute; refers to the distinctive qualities that make one recognizable as a person differentiated from others; refers particularly to the combination of outer and inner characteristics that determine the impression that a person makes upon others.

When you get down to the real bottom-line, character is about integrity. It seems people and organizations either have it or don’t have it. The black-white comparison is due to the use of integrity – you either have it or don’t have it. Selective integrity or ethics is really not having it.

Why is character so important to success? Well, if we don’t have character, then anything goes which can be a bad thing if totally unchecked. I will give examples of unchecked character and integrity later in this post. For the time being, just remember that character is an accumulation of your beliefs and values regarding life and business. These same qualities (or no qualities) are transferred to organizations from the leaders and management of the organizations.

What is Organizational Character?

Success and Character – Part One

Character is the twelfth C in the twelve part series of the C’s of Success. Part one covers individual character which is the cornerstone of all personal success in the long term. Low character individuals can and do have short term success, however, the truth of their methods usually catches up to them. They are then and forever considered – unsuccessful.

Character can be considered the ultimate indicator of true success at both the individual and organizational level. Character can dramatically separate individuals and others to see them as unique. This perception is sometimes the only thing that separates the individual from others in the eyes of customers, managers and peers.

What is Character?

Success and Courage

Courage is the tenth C in the twelve part series of the C’s of Success.

Courage can be considered the catalyst for getting higher levels of performance. It really is about the willingness to take a calculated risk to get the higher returns. Without courage, individuals and organizations would be under performing on a regular basis.

What is Courage?