The previous four posts were designed to give you clarity on who you really are and your unique place in the world. While helpful, they might not have necessarily gotten you into action and provided you the strategy you were looking for.
The answer to question #4, “How will I succeed?” (based on Patrick Lencioni’s 6 Critical Questions) is essentially your and/or your business’ strategy.
The content of the answer are those things you do (or will do) on a daily and weekly basis and that will guide decisions, how you use your time and differentiate you from everyone else that might be doing a similar thing. Lencioni calls them “strategic anchors” and knowing them keeps you from chasing every shiny object or opportunity that comes your way. While you may end up deciding to follow a new opportunity that isn’t one of your strategic anchors, you will at least have your “anchors” to examine your decision against to ensure whether it’s right or wrong for you.
Here are three areas to examine to help determine the answer to “How will I succeed?” In each area, write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind without regard for complete accuracy or correctness. Allow yourself to truly brainstorm.
- Peak Performance – Think of a time in your life or work where you have been at your ultimate of peak performance. Something you accomplished that you are still in awe over. What were the circumstances? What was true about that experience? What were the factors that made it possible for you to have that peak performance?
- Current Success – What are ALL the things you do that contribute to your current success? Think of all the projects, services, marketing, customer service, innovation, etc… that you currently do.
- Future Success – What are the things you have thought about doing, want to do, but haven’t done yet? The caution on this area is that you avoid the “shoulds” and “oughts.” Those are things you think you should do because someone else is doing them or because someone told you that you ought to do it. The answers to this question are those activities or strategies that you’ve researched and are consistent with you and align to your answer to Question #2.
Now put every answer to all three questions on sticky note, place them on a wall and step back. Ask a friend or colleague to join you and look for themes, patterns, common ideas with the jumble of sticky notes. It may take a little time, but themes will start to emerge that point you to your “strategic anchors.” Those themes are your answer to “How will I succeed?”