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Thinking strategically acting tactically

‘Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin’. Mother Teresa (1910-1997) Missionary.

Taking right action right now can be difficult, there are many false trails; here’s some ideas to keep us on track …. after all, the heat is on. The role is demanding – but you knew that when you took it up. It’s a major project and everyone from the CEO to the guy down the hall is watching – some willing you on – others waiting for a fall. Your resources are stretched beyond belief and poor coordination from your suppliers and other departments ratchet up the pain. Against this, the workload seems never ending – it just keeps coming, dumping ever more issues that require your attention. Meanwhile, your customers are squeezing you from the other side; they are never satisfied, they demand more. They expect miracles.

Your critical results – whether closing that big deal before month end, getting the project signed off, delivering the numbers for the quarter or feeding the hungry in Calcutta, will be easier to achieve if you consciously connect these two elements:

  • Know your purpose and develop a rich picture of what fulfilment looks and feels like. Build this powerful picture in your mind for each of your major goals and use this energy as your internal guidance system. Exactly how do you feel on closing the deal, what does it mean, how will you be different, how will you use the resultant reputation and rewards? Build very rich pictures. 

 

  • Pitch your tactical decisions on what to do next and why, against your purpose, knowing that every decision either takes us closer to our objectives or moves us away from them. This requires further developing our self discipline, our self management, our motivation and our ability to drive these decisions. Procrastination, excessive inactive contemplation, avoiding the things we don’t like doing (even though we know they are important), resignation and allowing ourselves to be pulled of course, will, ultimately, only take us away from our purpose and our fulfilment. As Jacob Bronowski, the scientist and author of ‘The Assent of Man’ said ‘The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation… The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.’

That’s why our productivity programmes always incorporate both the strategic and the tactical issues of managing Results and Workload – including best practice use of technology and tools to drive our decisions.

The world will not always be on your side, that’s reality…..

We, on the other hand, are always on your side! Mother Teresa had a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan, the children’s home in Calcutta, that was taken from The Ten Paradoxical Commandments, originally published by Kent Keith in 1968 whilst still at school. Here is his full list.

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

  1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centred.
    Love them anyway.
  2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway. 
  3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway. 
  4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway. 
  5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway. 
  6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway. 
  7. People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway. 
  8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway. 
  9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway. 
  10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

Develop your magnificent obsession, get to work on it, create a great day.
Of course, you can always contact us directly to tailor a support programme to your needs.

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