J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

What’s the Hope, What’s in the Way, What’s the Path

What’s the Hope, What’s in the Way, What’s the Path

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I’m a fan of strategy, and being strategic.  To put it another way, I’m a fan of being intentional about spending my time and energy on things that produce more effective results.   I’m not a fan of randomly throwing time and energy at things in a flurry of activity.

Life’s short, then you die, so it would be great to get more impact out of the time and energy you spend on things.

That’s where strategy fits in.

One of my favorite books on strategy is Being Strategic, by Erika Andersen.   She defines strategy like this:

“Consistently making those core directional choices that will best move you toward your hoped-for future.”

I like that.

I’m not a fan of strategy without execution.  For me, strategy is what shapes the execution.  Strategy is a way to guide your tactics, or to shape your actions for better results.

Strategy is a beautiful discipline with depth and breadth.   In fact, so much so that it can be hard to shift to being more strategic, if you aren’t used to thinking that way.

I wrote a simple post to help you be more strategic based on the approach presented in Being Strategic:

What’s the Hope, What’s in the Way, What’s the Path

It’s very simple, but very powerful.

Interestingly, each of the parts is powerful on its own.  For example, just clarifying “What’s in the Way”, can help you instantly reveal what’s been holding you back or help you see a limiting belief that’s keeping you stuck.   It also helps you put into perspective some of the real challenges that stand in the way between where you are, and the “castle on the hill” (you're hoped-for future.)

If you haven’t been a fan of strategy, because it’s either been too complicated, or something that “other people do”, or you’ve been let down by people that do a bunch of strategic planning, but no execution, I invite you to give strategy another chance.

Start to practice this simple little mantra:  “What’s the Hope”, “What’s in the Way,” and “What’s the Path”

Use it to get clear on what you want, reveal the obstacles in the way, and help you clarify a more strategic approach to guide your tactics to get there.

By using strategy, and being more strategic, you can do more with less, get more out of the things you spend your time and energy on, and build momentum around your activities to help you achieve your success, whatever that may be, more consistently.