Strategy + Action = Traction

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Photo by Jungwoo Hong on Unsplash

As I was creating a 3-minute video, some time ago now, on creating movement on teams, I uttered the phrase, strategy plus action, equals traction. And, this is so true. Why? Well, before we look at why, here is that video.

Jeff Flesch YouTube

Okay, why. Because in order to move a team, business, or organization forward, you must have both strategy and action. If you only have strategy, you are only talking about doing things; and, if you only have action, you are only doing that which was done yesterday. And, that is not traction.

How can you create strategy, action, and traction? Let’s take a quick look.

Strategy + Action = Traction

The key to creating traction is movement with vision. The first full year in my current position we moved, yet we did not move as a team, and we didn’t have a vision. No traction.

There is a distinction here that is important. You cannot gain traction until you move as a team and are clear on where you are going.

In that first year, we were focused on understanding each other and building relationships. Additionally, we learned the business, and got clear on the strengths and weaknesses in the business model.

In effect, we were focused on each other, and the day-to-day operations of the business, which is totally understandable. You can only move a team forward, once you are in relationship and have created safety, understand the business model, and understand where you are going. That was created in year 2.

Developing a vision, which I’ve written about in other posts, was creating where we were going with intention. Once that vision was created, we had the ingredients to move into traction.

Recap
  1. Build relationships and create safety.
  2. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of the current business model.
  3. Develop a vision to pull you into the future you are creating.

There are other components, which are also important to creating traction, such as developing processes and systems that work together in your business model. In our first year, we did a lot of process upgrades; and in year 2 we started to work on the systems.

In year 3, in the time we had pre-COVID-19, we were continuing to work on those systems; and, even during COVID-19, we have continued this work, though the work has been focused on new processes and systems to support remote and online learning.

Now, in our just-about-to-begin year 4, which we are calling reset to zero, we are going back to creating, building, and maintaining relationships. However, this year it is about creating, building, and maintaining relationships in the community; with our partner organizations, and business clients. Wonderfully exciting work.

For those that learn best audio-visually, here is a very short video on creating strategy, action, and traction. The culmination of which, I have termed the traction zone. Take a look.

Jeff Flesch YouTube

Balancing the day-to-day operations with strategic thinking is also very important to creating strategy, action, and traction, and getting your team, business, and organization into the traction zone.

More to come on how to create this balance, as I am currently working on a new post to discuss 7 keys to creating balance between the day-to-day operations and strategic thinking. Until then, be well and lead well.

#action, #buildingrelationships, #businessplanning, #businessstrategy, #creatingbusinessmodels, #creatingvision, #creatingyourfuture, #developingprocessesandsystems, #developingvision, #leadership, #leadershipdevelopment, #leadershipinaction, #strategiplanning, #strategithinking, #strategy, #strategyplusactionequalstraction, #strengthsandweaknesses, #teamdevelopment, #tracationzone, #traction, #vision

Motivation: Is it an inside or outside job?

This week I’ve been more present to motivation. What I mean is noticing awesome people in my contexts doing amazing things, and the motivation that comes from creating such possibilities. 

A good friend of mine once told me that motivation does not come from an outside source, that, in fact, motivation comes from doing things. Thinking about motivation this way creates the space for an understanding that motivation doesn’t just magically appear. Motivation comes from doing, simple.

Yet, as human beings, understanding what is a simple concept about motivation, is not always simple to put into practice. Why? Because humans create patterns (or habits) that are very hard to change. 

However, it is possible to change them. And, the first step to creating that change, is to understand that the motivation to do so will develop inside the actions you take to make these changes. Motivation does not live inside of thinking about the changes, only in the doing.

With so much change happening as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, then, all of us are living outside of our typical patterns, or habits, and that is difficult for everyone. You are not alone in feeling this way. 

It seems to me then that motivation is an inside job. The motivation to take action in life, lives inside the action itself, which we create.

Sometimes humans also want to connect an action to a result. However, connecting actions to results sets us up for failure. When we believe that we are taking action for a result, we concentrate and expect the result to look or be a certain way. And, when the result is not that way, we typically say, I’ve lost my motivation.

Motivation is not lost. It is simply hiding inside the next action, so let go of your expectations on the result, and take that next action.

My invitation – continue to take those daily actions, which create new patterns, new motivations, and new possibilities.

Until next time…

#action, #change, #covid-19, #habits, #motivation, #patterns, #possibility, #result

Fear of the Unknown

This past week, I created a message about fear of the unknown in a Friday Message to the team of folks I work and collaborate with.

Here is that message

This week I’ve been noticing, and reflecting upon fear. Fear that comes with not knowing. And, the byproducts of fear of the unknown, like being nervous and or anxious. I notice them first within myself. The only way one can notice them in others is to first notice them in oneself. 


There is also a knowing in all of this unknown, however, which is that fear and fear’s byproducts are a normal part of the human experience. You are not alone in your fear. If someone tells you they have no fear, they are simply not aware of the fear within themselves, or refuse to accept it.


I was talking to my mom this week, who lives in CA, where the restrictions on shelter-in-place and social distancing are much more rigorous than here locally. We were talking about my mom’s fear about the future, and the realization that this is a normal process of understanding. 

I believe that to understand what is possible, and to create new future realities, we must acknowledge all aspects of our being, our shared humanity. When we do so, we open up a creative space within ourselves and the space to share ourselves with others experiencing the same emotions and fears.


By recognizing our fears as a part of the normal human experience we also create acceptance within ourselves of our fears, and likewise then create the space to accept others and their fears. 

This is called compassion. Compassion for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends, family, team, our local community, and the greater world.

I share this with you as a creation that stemmed from the COVID-19 health crisis. To often, I think, people get caught up in thinking they are not creative, which can actually inhibit creativity, and is simply not true. Creativity lives inside each of us, and can be defined in a myriad of ways, from an idea, to a fully operating business.

One of the distinctions about creativity, is that in order for a creative idea or business model to live in the world, action must be taken. Otherwise the creative idea or business model remains a concept in language. So, take action today, and go execute on your conceptual creativity.

Until next time…

#action, #business, #concept, #covid-19, #creativity, #execution, #fear, #human-development, #idea, #unknown

Creativity this week

I’ve been writing again, since the COVID-19 outbreak. The writing is one of the things that has “come back” with the extra time. It is interesting to examine human nature. We work very hard to stay as busy as possible, and yet inside of business, there is little space for creativity. Yes, you can be creative while leading a busy life. Yet, you can be even more creative when you stop to pause, ponder, and wonder.

So, then, this is the companion blog that I created this week as an outlet for the writing. No idea if it will go anywhere. And, really, the writing is not about it going somewhere. It is about taking that creative action, realizing that outlet, or manifesting that output. However you say it, matters less than taking those steps to do something different. Or, do something that you’ve not done in some time.

For instance, last week I played golf, while of course adhering to the social distancing order, for the first time in 3 or 4 years. That felt good. I played really bad. Again, that is not the point. The point, for me anyway, was taking the action, doing something.

Well, that is it from me for now. Before I go a question for you.

What did you create this week?

And, if you didn’t create anything, which I know you did, even if you don’t consider it a creation, what will you create next week?

Reply and let the world know.

Until next time…

#action, #blog, #covid-19, #creativity, #human-nature, #writing