Destination unknown

I believe more and more each day that what we think is what we will become.

If you think you will be successful in the long run, you will be — as long as you have a definition of what success means to you. Having a definition of success gives you something to aim for — a destination.

The problem with many people in leadership positions is that we are too short-sighted. We don’t know where we are going. We are all trying to grow revenue, increase market share, make more profits and build a stronger brand, but what I am talking about is the real end game. To many of us, it is “destination unknown.”

You see the same sort of thinking with the afterlife. People who believe in the afterlife will do whatever they think is best today to help get them there.

Many, if not all, of the decisions they are making today are to help position them for the life hereafter. The same should hold true in business. You have to have a clear destination and a reason for taking the actions you do.

Some leaders, whether you agree with them or not, have a clear vision of what their destination is. Bono’s focus is on world peace. President Bush’s focus is to end terrorism. Bill Gates’ is to use technology to make the world a better place.

The next time that you are in a strategic planning meeting or thinking about the goals of your company, consider what your ultimate destination is and consider these three guidelines.

1. Take the time to think through what you would like your destination to be, why you should go there and how you would get there.

2. If you’re not satisfied with your answer, rethink it. Search deep within your soul for what is going to satisfy your greatest longing.

3. Don’t avoid change. Even if your answer means changing your company’s vision, mission or goals, don’t be afraid to make the changes necessary to get you to your new destination.

Without a destination, you are just wasting time and effort. It’s like taking a car trip with no idea of where you are going. You may think you are making great progress because you are driving like mad, but in the end, you end up in the middle of nowhere and have really accomplished nothing.

So take the time to think about where you are really going. Otherwise, you may never get anywhere.

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