Do you realize the importance of visualizing and consciously planning for success rather than merely planning enough to get started and then hoping that good things happen?
In 1994, my company’s senior leadership decided that they needed to learn the root cause of why some of the $13 billion corporation’s initiatives and projects exceeded expectations, while others either did not meet performance expectations or outright failed. The decision was made to bring a select team of 100 of the corporation’s most effective leaders to Atlanta for a two-day meeting to analyze the subject of “success.” As a 33 year old, I was very surprised and honored to be chosen to serve on this team.
Convening the two-day meeting in Atlanta cost the company over $180,000 including salaries, travel, lodging, and meals. This fact is shared only to highlight the seriousness with which the meeting was treated by the company’s leaders.
The meeting was extremely energetic and informative, with many passionate and articulate points being made. During the two days in Atlanta, we discussed, debated, and documented the topic of success for over twenty hours. Hundreds of excellent observations and ideas were documented and analyzed.
To conclude the meeting, we prioritized the many ideas and developed our list of the critical few keys to ensuring the success of future initiatives.
What do you think our 100-member team determined to be the most important?
We agreed unanimously that THE most important key to success in any critical endeavor is:
…selecting the right team leader and team members, and then constantly giving the entire team the time and resources to focus, without distraction, upon the mission to which they have been assigned.
WOW! Doesn’t that sound simple and obvious? Why did we have to invest $180,000 to legitimize that learning? I will attempt to answer this in Part 2… Tune in!