“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, this fellow began to build and was not able to finish.” Luke 14:28 - 30 (NIV)
Jesus is telling us in this passage to think ahead. What does your vision look like? What does success look like? Have you accounted for the money, the people, the time and the resources it will take?
Strategy is choosing to perform different activities that can be preserved and that will provide a sustainable competitive advantage.
Whether you are working on the future of your company, your division, your department or a project, you have a greater chance of success if you approach it with a strategic view.
First we have to be honest with ourselves and others. We can inspire and motivate people to join the cause, but when the ability to accomplish the work does not match reality people feel devalued and de-motivated. For example, a leader who tells their organization what a bright future they have in the midst of budget cuts with possible layoffs on the horizon causes the leader to look disconnected from reality and the employees left with a feeling of hopelessness.
“The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.”
Proverbs 14:8 (NIV)
Once you face the facts internally, have you fully considered your competition, your markets, opportunities and threats outside of your control?
Before leading Israel into the Promised Land, Moses surveyed the competition and landscape before he took any action.
“When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country.” Numbers 13:17 (NIV)
In the next three verses Moses directs them to take note of the people. Are they big, little, strong or weak? What about the land, the crops, the cities, walled or not? He was gathering competitive and market intelligence from which to develop his plan of action to conquer Canaan, their Promised Land.
I’m sure that there was a lot more he might have wanted to know, but he was looking for the most important information that would make a difference for the Israelite people to succeed.
After thinking through your options, strategy and approach - Now it is time to act! If you wait for perfect conditions you will never get anything done.
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NIV)
Until next week...
1. Success of any measure generally requires a team of people. Do you have the people you need?
2. Are you more of a thinker or a doer? God made everyone unique and different. What type of people do you need to team up with to see even greater results?
3. Have you ever done something without fully considering all the factors? What happened? If you could do it over, would you spend more time on “Think”, “Evaluate” or “Act”?