Long before Simon Sinek beseeched us to “start with why”, Napoleon Hill declared identifying one’s “Major Definite Purpose” as paramount in the development of sustained desire and all the benefits that flow therefrom.
According to Hill and his myriad immediate and derivative follower’s, success is largely defined by the clarity of one’s vision and faithful and persistent action to achieve the same. Yes, it is true that organized planning is important. However, between it and the clarity of one’s purpose, vision, and goal(s), the set of the later are far more important. Why?
Because a clear, meaningful vision is what gets people to come together to do the hard, dirty, and sometimes damnable work required to get a job done.
The question then becomes, who is the one to do this job of creating the vision? Answer: EVERYONE! True, it is the leader’s overarching master vision which must be clearly communicated. But, then each contributor – from the “bottle washer” straight to the “head chef” – must also have a vision of that which they want to accomplish … and how it serves as an integral part of the whole.
My personal and professional experience includes work as the only non-Chinese member of a real estate development firm. That was an incredible experience in which I learned about group dynamics. Believe me its business expression is not a panacea.
The problem encountered is that all decisions appeared to be made at or very close to the top. And so, while the team was willing to work much closer together than a Western team, any benefits which may have been gleaned from that advantage were more than dissipated by the perceived need to micro-manage.
What a clear master vision and integrated individual professional visions does then is to ALLOW the company to progress as quickly as possible. But, is this where it stops?
Not, if the start-up wants to not only get off the launch pad, but also out of orbit and fully on mission. See, it is the identification of roles and future goals which allows this along with attendant procedural documentation.
And this often for the true start-up entrepreneur can often be not only the most difficult and painful part. Start-ups by their very nature are flexible. They seek to provide maximal value in new product and service arenas. But, building and certainly scaling will not come without clearly cutting out that which is not most viable.
It’s not easy. But, perhaps the best analogy that I know to illustrate how to successfully navigate the process comes from Jim Collins. He suggests that businesses should start by firing BBs until the target is fully defined and recognized as profitable. Then, start shooting cannon balls.
And here’s the point. Cannon balls can only be produced in mass with procedure.
So, recapping. Identify, the purpose and vision, dial in on the goal, clarify the roles and goals, and then … FIRE AWAY!