Focus on Clarity of Purpose
Why is it that potential isn’t doesn’t automatically translate to highly successful? Why do those who should be successful not automatically rise to the top? How important is it to have Purpose?
The Hidden Trap
Jane seemed to have the world at her feet. She was looking forward to rapid career progression after several very successful assignments in her company. She received offers from other employers. Suddenly a wide range of options were available to her.
ABCKitchens had become successful selling a small range of niche kitchenware. After experiencing some success, the company had received multiple proposals for additional product ranges and supporting products. Many of these were digital applications. The Board was keen to pursue a number of them.
The time to be most cautious is when the world appears to be at your feet.
When faced with a sudden increase in the number of options and opportunities the temptation is to move away from your dream, vision and purpose. Both organisations and people can be caught off-guard. Jim Collins in his book How the Mighty Fall calls it the undisciplined pursuit of more.
Four Steps to Stay Focused
There is a simple 4 step, disciplined process to draw on when faced with broadening opportunities. Using this process will assist your decision-making process.
1. Revisit Your Purpose and Vision
By touching base with your building blocks – Vision, Purpose, Values and your Dreams. These remind you of what is important to you as a person or as an business.
2. Re-evaluate Your Passion
Re-evaluating your passion is a precursor to Step 3: Eliminating the Unnecessary. Rather than searching for good opportunities – there are many – re-evaluate what makes you or the business tick. What makes your people excited? Do you tap into people’s skills? What are they passionate about? How can you make a difference in the world?
3. Eliminate the Unnecessary
De-cluttering your house or your wardrobe has become very popular. In the same way, personal lives and businesses also benefit from identifying the unnecessary and garbage-bagging it. This process can take some time. What ideas from the past are important? What legacies are we carrying that we should no longer carry? How are our routines, our processes and systems perpetuating the unnecessary? What in our life or business, is not aligned with our Purpose and Vision?
Make changes, focus and streamline your life and your business. Take the time necessary to do this step well.
4. Eliminate the Distractions
Evaluate each opportunity and determine it is
- or an interesting possibility aligned with Vision and Purpose.
Each decision should be a strategic decision rather than a haphazard choice. Make this step an ongoing one, revisiting it at least monthly. Do not leave it for the yearly review or annual strategy setting meeting. You will feel that you’ve rejected some great opportunities. However, the process will clarify which ones carry the greatest risk of diverting you from your purpose.
Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (New York: Scribner, 2016)
Harvey, How to Find True Grit – A Focused, Purposeful One-Pointed Approach with Strategic Action (Online, accessed 2019)
Collins, How the Mighty Fall (Collins Business, 2009)
Ganga Harvey consults and coaches in the areas of Leadership, Strategic Management and Change Management and has guided many organisations to significantly higher levels of performance. She is a Solutions Partner with Harrison Assessments, providing deep insights into your organisation.
Connect with me for more growth and change strategies.