Over my 40+ years in the technology world – whether in sales, management, or as a business owner – I have found five steps helpful in driving my success. Each can be expanded on but never eliminated.
Develop the Vision – Define what you wish to accomplish, including both the What and the Why. Be as specific as possible. This will also give you something to measure success against along the way and when you finish.
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. – Warren G. Bennis
Confirm the Facts – While your Vision may seem right, you still need to investigate and research the idea to ensure its viability. Be sure also to consider the required return you need to risk the investment.
Facts do not speak for themselves. They speak for or against competing theories. – Thomas Sowell
Establish the Strategy – Create detailed steps for all phases of the effort to use as the rules and procedures to guide your work. The result will be a working document that will be revised and changed as we move into the next step.
A vision without a strategy remains an illusion. – Lee Bolman
Execute, Learn, Update & Repeat – A good idea without execution is just a dream. As we execute our plan, we will continuously learn things along the way that will influence our future actions and success. Incorporating that new information and updating our work is critical.
Strategy is a commodity, execution is an art. – Peter Drucker
Manage the Success – Once we’ve reached our goal with the “refined” Vision, take a short break and then create a new Vision for sustainment and growth. As with all things in life – if you’re not growing, you will eventually begin to deteriorate.
There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. – Bruce Lee
While it’s a simple list, it requires a tremendous amount of thought, effort, and commitment. It has guided me well over the years – and I believe it can bring you similar success when followed.