Have you noticed that things take time? Great things seem to take even longer. Nine months to get a child. Four years (+/-) to get a college education. Almost forever to gain wisdom.

Our Western culture has different metrics. We want it now. Instant could be a little faster, if you please. Fast food. Speed dating. Instant messaging (texting). 24/7/365 news. Digital photographs. Opening weekend movie revenues.

We love to take shortcuts and apply quick fixes, especially in our businesses. After all, “Time is money.” It’s part of our culture.

However, not everything is microwavable. Building a great business. Understanding and satisfying customer needs. Developing employees. Shaping and nurturing an adaptive culture in your organization. What’s on your list?

Whatever is on your mind, there are three simple (but not necessarily easy) steps to get there:

  1. Develop a clear understanding of the here-and-now. The current reality. Notice I didn’t say “the current assumption.” Reality.
  2. Articulate a clear and “hi-def” picture of the then-and-there. Spell it out. Make it real. Share it. Allow others to own it.
  3. Analyze the gap between the two. How can you get there from here? What makes sense? What will make a difference? How are you going to make progress?

This may be one of those knowing/doing gap things that trip some people up. Knowing what to do and actually getting it done really are different things. Knowing and thinking are interesting and valuable, but by themselves generate very little traction. If it was easy you would have already done it. So, let’s get inertia on our side. Here’s a question to get you started:

A year from now, what will you wish you had started today?

In Other Words…

“People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.” – Helen Keller

“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Every one who has taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it that makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell

“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.” – Warren Buffett

“I welcome questions. I hate assumptions.” – Red Haircrow

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”- L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between

 In The Word…

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24