I’m working my way through Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and in today’s reading I came across an idea that I know is going to help me and I’m pretty sure is going to help you.
Author Greg McKeown references a study in which he “gathered data from more than 500 people about their experience on more than one thousand teams” and “found a consistent reality: When there is a serious lack of clarity about what the team stands for and what their goals and roles are, people experience confusion, stress, and frustration. When there is a high level of clarity, on the other hand, people thrive (p. 121).”
Question: How clear is your team on what their goals and roles are?
McKeown goes on to point out that one way “we achieve clarity of purpose is [when we] decide on an essential intent.”
What is an essential intent? “An essential intent is both inspirational and concrete, both meaningful and measurable. Done right, an essential intent is one decision that settle one thousand later decisions (p. 125).”
“To get everyone in the U.K. online by the end of 2012”
The example cited by McKeown is when Martha Lane Fox was asked to become the U.K.’s first “digital champion.” “Martha and her team came up with this essential intent: ‘To get everyone in the U.K. online by the end of 2012.'”
“An essential intent is both inspirational and concrete, both meaningful and measurable.”
What is your essential intent? I was thinking about this today and plan to declare that our essential intent is “to connect 150% of our weekend adult attendance in groups by 2022.” We’ll never drift to 150%. It will require grit and determination to get to 150%. It will require a steadfast focus.
“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” Michael Porter
Connecting 150% of our weekend adult attendance in groups will also require a willingness to choose what not to do. Anything and everything that doesn’t lead to our essential intent becomes a non-essential.
What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.