Being the extraordinary leader that you are, your mind is probably—at this very moment—buzzing with new plans, fresh direction and a clearer vision for the days ahead. However, there’s one key point that will determine how successful you will be, it is the understanding of your Current Reality.
When was the last time you thought about your current reality?
Remember the last time you went to the mall. If you are like me, the game plan—like most men—was “in the door, find the item, make the purchase, out the door.” If you are unfamiliar with the particular mall, this most likely required a brief stop at the “Directory” sign somewhere near the entrance.
So here you are at the mall, ready for action.
You quickly scan the list to find the store that is most likely to have your item and you note its location. It is 39A. Now there is one more important piece of information that you need. You know that your store is at 39A, but where are you? Fortunately, the Mall has come to your aid and a placed big red arrow that says “You are here.”
You now formulate a simple navigation strategy, You are here… 39A is there… and you are on your way.
As you are planning the future of your organization and plotting the navigational points along the way, someone needs to call attention to your big red arrow.
Many organizational leaders fail in the moving forward because they started from an unrealized starting point. They thought they were on firmer ground than they were, or in a different place. Painting the picture of your current reality is the vital first step to a changed future. Many organizations need to stay where they are—for a season—and build the systems to propel them forward before simply launching out and hoping that everything will fall into place. Launching without knowledge of the supporting infrastructure rarely ever works.
Remember, moving forward without realistic foundational knowledge adds to the frustration of declining, struggling organizations. In many cases, it is precisely that which brought them there. The resistance will be great, the people unsure, trust levels will be low and buy-in will be absent. Before you start: Review the data, get the numbers, ask the questions, look deep and then look deeper still. Once you have discovered your true current reality, and deal with any deficiencies you uncover, you can bring your organization forward with confidence.