5 phases of your role as leader

Illus 1
Illus 1

The expectation that leadership can be a singular role is unrealistic. We wear a lot of hats. We manage, we motivate, we correct, we monitor, we inspire, we facilitate, we coordinate, we focus, we bark, we growl, we whisper, we articulate, we define, and we execute.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about our position of responsibility at the top of the organizational system. Then I wrote about our place out front, the visionary whose outsight provides direction and focus to the energy and the efforts of the team, department, business, organization, or company.

Earlier in this series I’ve written about strategies to implement the vision and the tactics that provide tasks lists and daily objectives for everyone. This is where the majority of our work will take place.

Check out illustration #1 again. Your oversight takes on two dimensions. The inspirational and motivational side of your work depends upon the capacity of those who work with you, your associates and employees, to grasp the purposes of your business or organization. If they had the vantage point you have and the understanding you possess, your job would be simpler and easier.

But they don’t.

And they shouldn’t. Indeed, they can’t.

Your position at the top and out front equips you for your role at the bottom. Yes, you do have the enviable place of prestige and visibility as the “head” of your department, company, or organization. Yes, you do have the visibility that comes from being the point man (of course, I know that you very well might be female but the term point person seems unwieldy so permit me the non-sexist use of the humanitarian “man.” If point person makes this more palatable, then please read it as such.)

But I can tell you from experience that most of your time will spent in the execution of the strategic plans at the tactical level. And therefore much of your roletriangle leader function version 2 as leader may indeed be consumed by managing the people and the things they do, the things they should do, and the things they do that you don’t want them to do. Who would of thought that your climb to the top places you most often at the bottom?

The principle at play here is:

“To get what you EXPECT you must be faithful and diligent to INSPECT.”

How that is done is the subject of much we talk about in leadership circles and the next topic on the horizon here at The Practical Leader. This diagram illustrates where your role works itself out in real life.

Yes, you and those who serve in management do indeed need to control process, contain expenses, and monitor progress. Yes, you do need to engage your top-level people and focus on the producers within your organization. But because your circle of concern is always greater than your circle of ability (what you want to see completed is more than you can do yourself) you must employ others both in the “Let’s hire some people” sense and in the “I’m overwhelmed and need to learn how to delegate better” sense.

The director of one organization I worked for followed his mantra of POTC – Plan, Organize, Train, Control. It worked for him, somewhat at least, but he was highly suspicious of the competence of anyone and everyone he’d hired so he spent most of his time and energy controlling. The work suffered because he simply could not leave anyone alone and it bottlenecked at him who had to assign, monitor, and approve almost everything.

But control is necessary to an extent and only to an extent. If you are a control freak I can predict that your organization will stifle and suffer. I want to add two more letters to the POTC mantra…another C and an F.

POTCC – Plan, Organize, Train, Control, Coordinate and Facilitate.

Effective leaders know very well how to coordinate and facilitate the efforts of those who work with and for them. They know how to light a fire under almost anyone without getting burned (BTW that is the subject of my next book due out later this year).

Those five letters P –O –T –C –F outline the next several posts. Planning is up on Thursday. See you then.

Lead, don’t push, harangue, or shove

triangle leader vision version 2“You can buy a person’s time; you can buy their physical presence at a given place; you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm… you cannot buy loyalty. You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, or souls. You must earn these.” Clarence Francis

Vision is not something one gets from polling focus groups. While you need consensus, you cannot and should not try to determine vision by consensus. It is not something that you devise by asking around what others think. Businesses, organizations, and companies are run badly when they are run with multiple heads. Even corporations have a CEO, churches have a pastor or priest, and organizations have a director. True enough, they do not act in isolation, at least the successful and most effective ones don’t.

However, leadership is primarily a singular responsibility that manifests itself through multiple outlets. There needs to be one voice and all who speak in positions of authority need to speak as one. Successful military campaigns are devised and managed by a commanding officer. But under him are multiple other layers of leadership. All of them have bought in to the objective and are duty bound and honor bound to make sure the vision is fulfilled, the mission is completed, the objective is reached.

But you will want to know what others do think, not to decide on what you should do but so you know what needs to be done, what powers of persuasion will be needed to inspire and motivate your team to get on board with the vision.

Effective leaders begin where the people they lead are not where it is that they want them to be. You are indeed heading somewhere. But every journey begins somewhere else.

And that’s where you come in as leader. You stand up top in a position of responsibility. But you stand out front in a position of visibility (See illustration #2).

You do need to gain consensus and that requires skill on your part as leader – powers of persuasion and inspiration.Vision comes from your but it must spread to others. Don’t even think about mandate or edict. Simply ordering people to embrace the vision never works. You lead. You do not push, harangue, or shove.

The price of greatness

triangle leader version 2Leadership is often and usually thought of as a position of visibility, certainly one of importance. Snipers wouldn’t shoot at officers if the officers were of no value. Leaders have the capacity to inspire, motivate, impress, and command.

The opposite does happen and leadership may be handled badly, but I want only to acknowledge the downside. Today I want to zero in on the up-side, the positive benefits and privileges of leadership.

Leaders usually sit at the top of things, stand at the front of the pack, or occupy the main office space. They are first ones identified with the project, company, or organization.

In my research into this subject there are two individuals from the not so distant past that exemplify this better than almost anyone else.

One is Prime Minister Winston Churchill; the other is General George S. Patton. Both were out front kind of leaders. Neither were they content to simply orchestrate strategies from their headquarters. They wanted to be in the fray and made it a point to be there.

But there are cautions.

1.       Be prominent but not dominant.  A one man band looks funny and sounds even funnier. Your circle of concern is greater than your circle of ability. You need others to reach the vision, fulfill the dream, or accomplish the objectives. You cannot expect to accomplish much if you lead a phantom army.

2.       Be a catalyst for action not a point of reaction. Sometimes your associates will respond badly but by and large you should strive for and expect that those you lead will respond to you rather than react to you. Happy associates produce more. Friction between people does the same thing as friction between material objects. It slows things down. You want to speed things up. Learn how to minimize friction and resistance.

3.      Even if you stand in front, you can lead from the back. Building a team of independent thinkers should not threaten you or endanger your position. This is about the vision, not personalities.

4.      If everyone is responsible, no one is. There are lots of parts in a car but only one steering wheel. We went through a debilitating period when the popular philosophy of leadership was to even things out, to diminish the role of a central figure.  As egalitarian as that might seem and as much as we admire equality, it simply does not work. Someone must sit at the top, stand in front, or occupy the prominent space.

5.      Remember that everyone is watching inside and outside the organization. When you have the top spot you can see…and be seen. There is great opportunity in this and great danger.  Be careful.

6.      Leaders are not only responsible for ????, they are responsible to ????. I left those question marks deliberately. We are responsible for our mission, our vision, or our department’s results and to our superiors, our constituents, and our selves. We are expected to produce results and leave things better than when we joined the company.

A position of responsibility is not one that everyone shoulders well or willingly. Some won’t shoulder it at all. But, as Winston Churchill said, “The price of greatness is responsibility.”

7 ways to kill strategic implementation of vision before it gets off the ground

cautionIt was to be the biggest and most comprehensive realignment of health care ever. When President Obama engineered the Affordable Care Act the vision for the project was grand and promising. (NOTE: I am NOT concerned about politics here. I reference this ONLY because it is a graphic and present example of how things go wrong and what we can learn about implementing visionary changes in our own business, department, or organization. What your political beliefs are in this matter are irrelevant as are mine.)

1.     Fail to secure the cooperation and support of the ENTIRE executive team. Don’t even think about trying to bring the senior leadership on board by mandate. Simply issuing a directive that the new vision is here and you expect their cooperation is really short-sighted. Why? Because the objective is not the start of the project. The objective is its implementation and completion. When you try to bypass this and simply get it passed by a simple majority you risk giving fuel to opposition.  The more sweeping the vision the more critical the need to get everyone on board. You cannot lead, support, follow-up, and live the results of the strategic planning process by yourself. You can’t even do it when a large portion of the support staff are either unenthusiastic and ambivalent or outright hostile. True enough, in politics one will almost never secure the complete and utter compliance of everyone but to not even try is a serious error in judgment. When something goes wrong, and it always does, you will need the help, advice, and validation of others to recover and get back on track. Without it you’ve made enemies when you could have had friends and you’ve made things that much harder for yourself. Visionaries are supposed to be inspirational so that others are enthused about the vision not conscripted. Do not say things like “Well, I’m the boss (CEO,CFO, Director, just fill in the blank with whatever your title is) so you have to go along. Make it easier for even the naysayers to give the benefit of the doubt.

2.   Spin the facts. Spinmeisters always come off as deceptive and conniving. Always. Doesn’t matter which side of the issue, don’t spin the facts. Like a spider, those who spin the facts often get caught in their own web. Be frank, open, honest, and objective. You’ll get much farther than trying to baffle someone with BS.

3.   Delegate all your responsibility. You have articulated the vision, don’t try to pass it off onto others. I think the President erred in letting others write his signature legislation. He apparently wants it to be his legacy so why would one pass it off to someone else. It is, ultimately, the leader’s responsibility. Make sure those to whom you engage for implementation share your sense of responsibility for it. I wrote about responsibility and accountability but it’s been a few months ago in this blog so it’s good to review it now. Yes, you need others. No, you can’t divorce yourself from the process. The more comprehensive the vision, the more engaged you must be along the way. You absolutely do not want to get to the day of unveiling and have things go catastrophically wrong. Even if you recover, it damages your image as a star thrower. Nothing succeeds like success and nothing stains like the tinge of failure. Lowe’s tried to re-orient the company into a new reliance upon and use of technology. The last I checked it still was not functional even two years after the announced date of implementation. Which brings me to my next point.

4.   Carelessly manage delay or outright failure along the way, it result in a rising tide of cynicism, negativity, and declining employee morale. Refer back to #3. You just can’t turn the key, flip the switch, and expect things to manage themselves. Leadership and management overlap (check out illustration #1). Encourage, admonish, exhort, correct, engage, stay connected.

5.    Don’t walk the talk. This must not become a we vs them situation. You are the visionary head and leading from behind is impossible. Leaders lead.

Illus 1
Illus 1

Eloquence is not enough. There comes a time when you must demonstrate with your life what you’ve said with your mouth.

6.   Don’t change measurement systems. Quantitative measures may not tell everything. Measurement systems benefit your associates and employees and they benefit you, too. Don’t spin numbers and don’t celebrate numbers that have little to do with the changes you want to bring about. Reward and recognize progress towards the vision.

7.    Ignore the challenge of change. Some people react well to change, most don’t. Some are change junkies, they like change all the time and get bored with routine. Most don’t. Expect the challenge of change and deal with it. Don’t even think about trying to squelch it. Suppressing the anxiety, doubt, and dismay of team members does nothing to fix it.

You’re the leader, so lead. It is never a one and done proposition. All day every day, your role varies in three ways. What are they? Check back in on Thursday.

The next 2 steps. What to do after you have a vision statement.

rapidsThe vision is in place. It’s been focused, defined, and articulated. Now what do you do with it?

First, you’ve got to get the word out. Everyone must know and must come on board. I may be assuming too much here, but you didn’t create the vision entirely in isolation did you? I am assuming you tossed it around the key members of the company’s organizational body. Members of the board of directors, top level staff, and key associates should have been in on this from day one.  Every effective leader knows that the key to corporate success is buy in, the magic that occurs when the key people are on board, enthusiastic, and energized. If you haven’t sold it to them the odds of selling it to everyone else and moving the company towards it are pretty grim.

Second, you’ll have to walk your associates and staff through the painful process of change. Many companies and organizations say they want to turn around a dying company, to re-energize a lagging organization, but it just is not possible to change without change. I’ll confess, this is the toughest job. Selling your team on a bright and beautiful tomorrow is relatively easy. Getting them to buy in is a bit tougher. Getting them to make the changes that must be made is the most difficult.

In fact, a company or organization is like a human being. The term corporation is from the latin word corpus – a body – and there are similarities. Like humans, corporations have a DNA. They are genetically programmed to act a certain way. And they face a life cycle. Also like humans, that life cycle can be extended. The “body” can rejuvenate itself and change its habits so healthy practices are substituted for unhealthy ones.

Remember this from a previous blog post:

No Vision = No Destiny

No Destiny = No Purpose

No Purpose = No Direction

No Direction = No Progress

No Progress = No Growth

No Growth = Decay and Failure

In an article for Bloomberg Businessweek, Phil Buckley identified five key questions are helpful in determining the likelihood that a major change will succeed or fail:

  1. How is the vision different, better and more compelling?
  2. Are the leaders personally committed to the change?
  3. Does the organization have the capacity to make the change?
  4. How ingrained is the current culture?
  5. And will the change actually deliver the identified outcomes?

These are questions to which you must know the answers. Your ability to navigate the turbulent waters of change is a real time gauge of your leadership skills. I’ve opened this up with my posts on vision, strategy, and tactics but there is so much more to be said.

It is the how’s, the practical techniques that are critical…and those skills will make up the next portion of this series. See you on Monday.

Viability – lessons from Studebaker

Studebaker_Champion_(Rigaud)They started making wagons for farmers, miners and the military in 1852. Incorporated in 1868 under the name Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company, they entered the automobile business in 1902 making electric vehicles. By 1904 they were making gasoline-powered vehicles and for the next 50 years became a major player in the business. With a reputation for quality and reliability, Studebaker produced some of the most iconic cars in America’s Golden Age of the Automobile.

They’re gone now. A bloated and sluggish manufacturing system, poor capital management, and an ill-advised merger finally did them in with the last vehicle rolling off an assembly line in 1966.

But they’re not the only company or organization to disappear from the scene. Blockbuster is gone. So are Woolworth’s, Kresge,  E.F. Hutton, Pullman (plush railroad cars),  Lionel (electric toy trains), Zenith (radios and televisions), Montgomery Ward, and American Motors are but some of the many that were once viable companies. To be viable is to be capable of working successfully. But a company or organization may be capable of working successfully in a shrinking market or for a changing constituency. What worked well back then, may not work so well next year.

Why? Because one must maintain viability.

Viability – the ability of a thing (a living organism, an artificial system, an idea, etc.) to maintain itself or recover its potentialities.

This concept, this definition is precisely why I’ve been hammering on the topic of vision and emphasizing that strategies and tactics MUST follow vision, not the other way around. Viability means your company or organization possesses the following things and does more than offer mere lip service to them.

Relevance – the product you offer, the services you provide must have meaning and necessity to those for whom you provide them. Those people or companies must have an emotional engagement with that product or service. You know that sales are almost never logical. They are almost always emotional.  But even that is insufficient. There must be a need for what you offer. This should be evident in your promotional materials which should, if they are written effectively, describe the benefits your product or service provides. To maintain relevance is to maintain an ability to satisfy the needs of the user. This involves more than the product. It also demands the acquiring experience. Look at the evolution of supermarkets through the years. Today’s prosperous companies have well-lighted stores, wide aisles, and products appropriate to their local customers desires. Just consider the development of online business to see how relevance plays such a critical role.

Relief – there is a pain/promise element to every transaction. The customer or constituent experiences some pain, even if it is minor. They need something. The question is always “do we as a company and do I as a salesman understand what that customer needs?” Companies and organizations that maintain viability are successful at promising to satisfy that need and then fulfilling it. All economic transactions are problem-solving ones. They have a problem, we solve it and get paid to do it. That pain may be multi-level. Someone may be in the market for a car but need transportation and more. They may need to feel the rush of a powerful and responsive driving experience. They may need to feel safe and comfortable, too. Companies that maintain viability offer relief because they understand what their customers and constituents need.

Efficiency – Studebaker neglected to update their manufacturing plants. At the time of their demise, their plant had a break even number at 500,000. The company made no money at all until a half million cars were sold! This is the particular domain of leadership to envision and management to enact.

Effectiveness is gauged by measuring all three – relevance, relief, and efficiency.  A comprehensive vision born out of real world circumstances and cunning prognostication pursued by responsible management of resources and a light on your feet adaptability adds up to a viable company.

 

Leadership’s happy family – Vision, strategy, & tactics

basic diagramOne non-profit agency operating in Africa opened restaurants as part of its fund-raising strategy. A charitable organization working on the African continent developed a focused vision and successfully imprinted it upon those who worked in the organization both in the US and in Africa. The board and the organization’s director turned their attention to the pursuit of that vision. They developed comprehensive strategies for pursuing the vision and for funding the project.

Part of the fundraising strategy included operating businesses in the country within which they pursued their charitable work. Some of the businesses they opened are restaurants. The restaurants provided jobs for local residents and profits from them funded the administrative costs of the organization. More than one local business advisor suggested that the restaurants would produce higher revenues if they were less family-oriented (this means that “girls” would be hired to shill for drinks). Since the charity had already defined its values as being wholesome and family-focused, the suggestion was never even considered. It simply did not fit in any way so their response was an easy and simple no.

A defined and articulated vision builds the fences within which your company or organization can range.  Once the vision is in place…and not a moment before it is in place…strategies can be devised and tactics can be implemented.

The qualifier is NOT that it works. The qualifier is that it fits within your strategic plan’s criteria and that it should work.

But it might not. Do not allow you and your company or organization to become inextricably wedded to a tactic. They come and go, work then don’t. The vision is the only constant. Everything else is not.

Churches continually struggle with this but companies do too. We as leaders and managers are always in tension between the forms we’ve inherited and their present viability.

That’s why we need a continuously operating EVALUATION LOOP. See the accompanying diagram. This clearly illustrates the major distinction between leadership and management.

Leaders are primarily (but not exclusively) concerned with the overall direction of the nature of their business. Managers are primarily concerned with the implementation of the strategies and tactics. The best managers are also competent leaders in their own right because they know how to keep people enthused about the job and make productive corrections when they aren’t. The more effectively leaders can imprint vision upon their associates and employees, the more efficiently managers can implement strategies and tactics. Why? Because it makes sense.

The logical connection between all three – vision, strategies, and tactics – builds confidence within those you work with because they come to really believe that you know what you’re doing and you know how to make things happen. No one and I mean no one, responds well to confusion or disconnect between what you say and what you do.

So…don’t allow confusion to enter. Marry the vision to the strategy and raise the children (tactics) in a happy harmonious home.

Step 5 – develop and define tactics

basic diagram strategy tacticsBy now your vision should be defined, focused, and articulated. You should have enough confidence in it that you are able to promote it enthusiastically and unequivocally. Plus, your strategic plan should be taking shape. Based on the vision, your personal and corporate values, and shaped by the marketplace and your constituents, you will have developed an overall plan for reaching the vision.

But how does that happen in real life? What are you going to do today? Most of us have a slate of activities already. We will have inherited forms, systems, procedures, methodology, and products. we should also have inherited the founder’s sense of entrepreneurial adventure.

Sadly, as an organization ages, that sense of adaptability, innovation, and adventure is one of the first things to drop off. The vision first articulated by the founder(s) gave birth to a strategic plan which in turn spawned forms, systems, procedures, methodology, and products. Somewhere over time and somehow in our thinking, those forms, systems, procedures, methodology, and products grew in stature to become who we are as a company.

This is terribly wrong.

Tactics – forms, systems, procedures, methodology, and products – are a means to the end. They are not the purpose for which we exist…although too often we have made them thus. Tactics are:

The means by which a strategy is carried out; planned and ad hoc activities meant to deal with the demands of the moment, and to move from one milestone to other in pursuit of the overall goal(s). In an organization, strategy is decided by the board of directors, and tactics by the department heads for implementation by the junior officers and employees. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/tactics.html#ixzz2wDnqP5H4

Tactics take advantage of PRESENT circumstances, exploit present conditions, and pursue opportunity. Sadly, here are five results that are too often realized:

First, because tactics are activities performed almost daily, we tend to measure progress in terms of the amounts of activities we’ve performed and efficiency with which we do them.

Second, they cloud the lack of real progress because we stay busy.

Third, they usually lose their effectiveness over time. Check out Geico’s “15 minutes or less” commercials and notice how they’ve changed them. They now acknowledge that “everybody knows that” and inject a humorous side to the conversation. Keeping things fresh is one of the biggest challenges.

Fourth, tactics can be worshipped aver everything else. We do them every day, we count them, report on them, laud them, track them, eulogize them, focus almost entirely upon them. They become the focal point of our existence. Notice my use of the expression “focal point.” What should be the focal point of our company or organization?

That’s right. The vision!

Instead it’s the tasks that fill the day which intrude upon the conscience and become objects of adulation and esteem.

Fifth, we can literally love them to death. We can be so enamored with our efficiency and quantitative measures that we neglect to determine if they are really getting us where we need to go. Read results one through four again.

So, what do we need to do? How do we need to respond? I’ll tell you on Thursday (and fill on those blank spots in the diagram).

Step 4 – your strategic plan’s 4 qualifiers

basic diagram strategyVision for your company or organization is singular and focused. Once it is defined and stated, we work backwards. It’s better not to have a vision, never post a vision statement, than to have one posted and do nothing about it or to persist in activities that have no VISIBLE and RECOGNIZABLE connection to it.

The vision spawns strategic planning.

It may seem redundant but let’s look at Lowe’s vision once again:

We will provide customer-valued solutions with the best prices, products, and services to make Lowe’s the first choice for home improvement.

It’s succinct, focused, relevant to the industry, attainable, and noble sounding. It also gives a target for which effective strategies and tactics can be developed to further progress towards it.

Strategies have these four qualifiers:

  1. Strategies vary from place to place and from time to time. The vision is carved in stone, so to speak. It, the vision statement, should not be altered significantly and absolutely should not be changed from time to time. To do so is to foolishly introduce confusion and frustration into your company or organization.  Those associates who work for you will buy in to the vision but they do not have unlimited resources to keep buying in to a new vision every other month.
  2. Because the pursuit of overall objectives is the privilege and responsibility of leaders, strategies usually originate from them too. But not always! Correlate this with your leadership skills and need to extend your reach. You will need to employ (pun intended) others to help you. They will have ideas as well. The more they are informed about the company’s vision and the more experience they have the more they can offer. This does not neutralize your responsibility to know what to do and why it should be done. Principle #2 in my book “3 Skills of Effective Leadership” is knowing what to do next.
  3. A strategy is only an expedient, a means to an end, and is therefore expendable. They can, and should, be altered to fit present conditions and circumstances. Ask Blockbuster what happened to their strategies? Best Buy, on the other hand, seems to be making something of a comeback based on altered strategies and tactics to fit a changing market.
  4. All strategies as subject to unforeseen events and the independent will of the competition. They never survive contact with the real world without some modification. Don’t hold them with the same reverence you do your vision. The vision is paramount. Nothing else is.

Next we begin to tackle the subject of tactics – how to implement strategies and progress towards the vision.

 

Step 3 – the ABC’s of effectively managing the vision

GPSJust about everyone has access to one and uses it probably more often than they need to. I drive an older vehicle and I do not use a smart phone but even I have one. What is it?

A GPS device. Mine is a TomTom, a gift from my son a few years ago, which plugs in to a power outlet in the cab of my Ranger. Admittedly I don’t use it much except when I am going somewhere I’ve not been before.

Let’s tie this in to my posts in this series. I’ve been writing and posting about vision, about setting a destination and a direction for your company or organization. The same thing happens with a GPS. It will not tell you where you should be going although it will help you search general destinations. No, you need to know your destination and then enter the coordinates, address, or identity into the device.

There are no devices which will automatically tell you what your destination is. That is up to you. So, you enter it into the GPS and press the button to continue. The system then does something marvelous. It finds out where you are and plots the course from here to there.

You have to find out too. Knowing where you are is only one part of the equation. You must know where you are BEFORE you can plot a course. That is the next step in effectively leading your company, organization, or department.

Assume nothing. Even if you think you know, assume nothing. Check and recheck. Follow the ABC’s of effective management:

Assess your present situation inside and outside the organization. What are your staffing strengths and weaknesses? What challenges and opportunities do you face right now? What is your competition doing? How is the economy in general and specifically where you are? Using the SWOT technique, determine your organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (challenges). Stop what you’re doing. Look around to see what can be seen. Don’t just look for evidence to reinforce and support your preconceived notions. Look to discover what is really going on. Listen to what you hear. Again, don’t just listen for things to support what you think you know. And don’t do so just once. The GPS suggests you log on and get updated maps from time to time. The principle applies here too. Effective leadership demands that you understand the times and everyone knows that times change.

Believe what you find out. I know you think you know better but you really do need to accept the findings. Cynicism has risen in the workforce because of disbelief. Employees do not believe employers listen to them. Employers do not believe what their employees tell them. Do not rely on written assessments alone. Get out from behind desks and paper. See for yourself. Have confidence in your own powers of observation and understanding.

Change what needs to be changed. I’ll talk about this more in the coming posts, but assessments and analysis are meaningless unless and until some relevant action follows.

Assess, Believe, Change.

Once the GPS knows where you are, it can tell you how to get where you want to go. But it cannot do so until the present location is known and you have confidence in it. You can’t either.