“Don’t Get Too Far Out Over The Tips of Your Skis”

As you begin a new year, it is good to make big aggressive plans.  Someone once told me to “Shoot for the stars because even, if you miss, you might just hit the moon!”  In our zeal for achievement and doing better than last year we often make ambitious goals.  I think that is actually good.  Where many people go wrong is they want to meet that goal taking the easiest and quickest way possible.  If the journey becomes difficult or takes longer than they think (or want) it to, then they get discouraged and quit.

Let’s take weight loss as an example.  Usually, it involves discipline on what goes in your mouth and how often.  It also involves exercise.  Those of you who are regular gym goers know this week and next it will be difficult to get on the machines or exercise areas because so many people have made a new year’s resolution to lose weight and get back in shape.  You also know, by February 15, you will be back to the same people who have made a commitment and are regular gym goers.  If there are one or two new people still exercising, you will be shocked!  🙂  Why does this happen every year?  People have good intentions but they want to lose weight and get in shape with little effort and they want to see progress in the first two weeks.  If they do not see progress… they are done with it.

Here’s another reason why big goals are not made… People and organizations get ahead of themselves.  A very wise man once taught us to build our house on a rock.  We need to build as we go to make sure the logistics are keeping pace with the front line troops.  Too many times I see well-intentioned people and organizations forget about the basic steps that got them where they are now.  Training gets put off to next quarter. Training leaders for the next expansion or store opening is hurried and not effective. Policies and procedures are either ignored, forgotten or never taught in the first place. Proper planning for recruiting the right people is shunned.  In short…. “Don’t get too far out over your skis”.

In WWII, many times offensive moves by armies by both sides were so effective that they out ran their logistics.  Soldiers did not have food.  Trucks, tanks and other equipment did not have fuel.  There were times when the soldiers went beyond the maps they were given when they began their offensive!  What happened?  In many cases, those successful offensives were turned into bitter defeats just because the logistics were not there to support the troops.

The lesson is set aggressive goals but also plan the logistics needed to make the goals.  You also need to stop along the journey and make sure you have the logistics in place.  Circumstances change very rapidly these days.  Always be prepared to stop and assess not only how you are doing but how are you going to make the next steps.  Don’t be afraid of taking baby steps.  Don’t try to run before you walk.  Usually that does not end well, causing discouragement that did not need to occur.  People (remember … that’s what makes up organizations) want to be successful.  One success leads to another.  Celebrate successes along the way.  It will pick up morale and make the journey together much more fun too.

Here’s to a successful ski trip!  Until next time, Peace.  🙂

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