Keeping a Long and Short View

APRIL 13, 2011

It's hard to hold two opposing thoughts in your head at one time. In fact, most research suggests it is impossible. We cannot like and dislike something. We cannot be pleased and unhappy. And, evidently, we cannot think about the short term and the long term at the same time. I know, that last point was unfair.

Unless you are the rare exception as a leader, you probably struggle to keep both the short term and long term fixated in your conscious for long. One tool that I have used for years with senior leaders is to simply remember the following principle:
Short terms results thrive on accountability.

Long term results thrive on vision.

You must start with vision. I don't mean change the world vision, just a clear articulation of where you intend to the arrive in the long term.

Say it.

Repeat it.

Mean it.

Support it.

Then, figure out the little baby steps that get you there. Assign every step to someone. Hold them accountable.

Sounds pretty vanilla, doesn't it?

The magic isn't in the method, it's in the execution.

For discussion:

Q: Do you regularly talk about your long term vision?

Q: What methods do you use to practice accountability with your team?

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