For most people, the thought of running a marathon, or worse, an Ultramarathon which covers all events longer than 26.3 miles or 42.3 KM. For most people, the reality of this type of activity is met with the response of “WHY?” and a look of bewildered intrigue like my golden retriever hearing an unusual noise.
However, for most who regularly participate in these types of endurance events, the clarity of the goal, their personal “WHY” is vivid and clear. This clarity is conveyed with enough passion that friends and loved ones are able to understand and often go to great lengths to help the goal become a reality. In a simple sense, the athlete is effectively communicating their vision to accomplish a specific goal and the tactical requirements needed to accomplish it – in short, a Strategy and Execution Plan.
While business strategy encompasses a wider range of inputs and may include the good will of the people employed, product lines and markets. The requirements for clarity of the vision are the same, you need the vision to be equally clear in the minds and hearts of each stakeholder. This clarity needs to be enough that the team is capable of making decisions that align with the future vision (strategy) in their day to day actions, sell the right products, decline the business that does not fit and manage those elements that fall between.
A quick test of this is to go back and look at the tasks in your to-do list. As a senior executive, how much of your time is being spent reacting to borderline or incorrect decisions your employees vs. the amount of time spent on growth. Make sure the reaction of your team members reflects clarity of vision and not a reminder of a beloved family pet.