I have great hope, no, let’s say Big Purple Expectations, for 2006 as a year in which we are going to declare war on mediocrity.
hope highly anticipate you’re with me in this. Are you battle ready?
Our scouts have returned, and the eagerness on their faces is contagious. The rest of the troops are stirring, impatient to begin. They are waiting for the word.
For your word.
You see, this is a war we can win. Not only that, our battles are lining up to be great fun. We all know it.
Deep down, you know it too. Why settle for mediocrity when you can wage war on it instead?
I’m naming our warpath KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u.
There is no room for mediocrity. Zilch. Nada. None.
I’ll explain how I came to this outlook I have for the year.
January and February are months chock full of strategic planning for me.
It actually starts as a low rumble that gets steadily louder in October and November as my clients talk to me about the assumptions they’ve put into their financial budgets for the following year. There is a lot of looking at “what is” for them in retrospect; hindsight is 20-20. Knowing that, there still is a lot of wishful thinking about what the New Year will bring.
Then, the rumbling continues during Ho‘omaha, my annual sabbatical (mid December to early January) when I have the quiet, self-reflective time to do my own SLC Strategic Plan for the coming year for my company, Say Leadership Coaching. I’m far luckier than most, in that I don’t have to do this in committee or securing anyone’s agreement, so I go for it. Technically, I’m a solopreneur: I’ve set up the other five people I have in my ‘Ohana in Business as business partners with their own entrepreneurial journeys — they do their strategic plans with my mentoring if they need it.
Therefore, when it comes to my SLC plan, I jump in with both feet, loving the greater energy and excitement associated with the inherent risks of the ideas I want to try. Frankly, the bigger the risk the better. Life is short, and I prefer to turn one of my weaknesses (that patience is not one of my virtues) into one of my strengths in a bull in a china shop kind of way. (Yes, I am a Taurus too!)
I’m not alone.
During January and early February, 90% of the coaching I do is in strategic planning facilitation sessions for executive leadership groups. They are scrambling to make those assumptions they’d made for their budgets way back in October, resemble some kind of meaningful reality for themselves in the coming year via executable action plans which won’t put everyone to sleep in their predictable boringness. (Okay, those are my words, not theirs.)
I don’t mind the scrambling one bit. In fact, I love it. I feed off it. I thrive on it.
Personally, I love writing strategic plans. These facilitation sessions are among my very favorite things in the work I do. I think they are one of the most creative, energetic, exciting, synergistic and optimistic exercises leadership groups can have in business— when they go for it in a BIG way.
As Seth Godin might say, they want to Be Remarkable. They want to Be Purple. They want The Big Moo.
They want to banish mediocrity, complacency, apathy, auto-pilot, and everything boring.
In Hawaiian, they want KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u!
When I coach these strategic planning sessions, we turn the very specific vision we want to achieve by the end of the year into an all-out, no-holds-barred campaign. We look in our own backyards for the talent we have, we groom them into the champions that Laurence Haughton talked about, and we get moving quickly and decisively.
I coach the leadership team to model the behavior they want to see duplicated by starting with themselves. We choose specific vocabulary, and we create a Language of Intention. They walk their talk, making proactive and very visible changes in their own performance first. This has to happen before their big Wow Event trumpeting their campaign for the rest of the organization. Their immediate goal is to have everyone at their Say “Wow!” Event think and say,
“Oh Wow, so this is what has had them so fired up lately…
… Hmmm… I want a piece of this too!”
So what has you
Intend It. Name It. Do It.
The all-year campaign we come up with always has a name.
Naming gives your Strategic Plan a place of honor, vital importance, and nobility. Naming gives your Strategic Plan more clarity, quick identification, and communication associations that are immediate. A great name creates Vision Intention. Naming your plan gives your strategic initiatives and objectives within it the status of Key Legacy Builders. All of this; everyone’s efforts, everyone’s growth, everyone’s personal success and achievement, will be chronicled forevermore in your company’s history as the year of “The Name!”
Back in January, I told you about the name I chose for the SLC 2006 Strategic Plan: This is to be my year of Managing with Aloha becoming a Language of Intention for our Ho‘ohana Community.
There is power in the spoken word. Once you speak your intention, you must keep your word to make it so; your honor and your reputation depend on it. I can’t afford not to talk to you about the Language of Intention this year— I can’t, and won’t, be accused of not walking my talk. So it’s become my self-talk,
my out loud talk,
my talking story talk,
my writing talk.
The really great thing?
I have had two other clients do me one better.
They have both named their 2006 Strategic Plan Campaigns KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u with my Language of Intention being just one of the strategic initiatives (i.e. Key Legacy Builders) they have within the campaign. They are rockin’ and rollin’ to Excellence this year, each in their own, very exciting way.
Synergy. 1 + 1 = 3.
Managing with Aloha
+ Their Vision of Success
= More than either of us could have done individually.
They are on the warpath against mediocrity, and they’ve swept me along with them.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u.
“Strive to reach the summit.”
In this, our March Ho‘ohana, I’m sweeping you along with us too.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u is the Hawaiian value of Excellence and Achievement.
You can find out all about KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u in chapter five of Managing with Aloha, and all month long here on Talking Story. Don’t have the book yet? Here’s a book excerpt so you can come on the warpath too: KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u.
Let’s start right now.
Pull out your Strategic Plans for 2006.
Print each initiative they contain on a separate piece of paper in big
36 – 48 point font.
Lay them out on the floor, and stand above them.
Get inspired. You are bigger than those words on the floor!
You wrote them, you control them.
If they don’t have a name yet, give them “The Name of your Success this Year you will Rock your world!”
[Feel free to make it easy on yourself and choose one of these:
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: Our Year of Greatness.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: The Best We Can Be.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: Outstanding Achievement is Ours.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: We Define Excellence.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: Nothing but Remarkable. ”You get the idea.]
Grab a tube of lipstick or a tub of fingerpaint, and stripe your cheeks with some war paint.
(You probably want to stay away from the Sharpies though…) The say it out loud,
“KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u! We’re going on the warpath.
I’m going on the warpath!”
We are the Ho‘ohana Community.
We have already raised the bar with community synergy. There’s nothing stopping us now. [This is way too much fun!]
Now, we want Excellence. We want Greatness.
We will not settle for anything less.
We deserve more. You deserve more.
KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u: The Best We Can Be.