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Successful Journeys Begin at the End

Way back in the 80s, when dinosaurs and your author roamed the earth, Stephen Covey advised us to Begin with the end in mind. Good advice then, good advice now.

Every successful journey starts with a decision about where you want to go. But destinations are not one-size-fits-all. Different destinations, different journeys. Duration, companions, requirements, and nature of the challenges you will face are all defined by the destination.

Your goal defines your game plan. If your goal is a new flavor of ice cream, you will chart a particular course; if it is to build a company you will be able to sell in five years for several million dollars, you chart another. If you don’t know the difference, you are surely doomed to wander in the wilderness for 40 years or until you win a major lottery, whichever comes first.

Your choice: luck, or plan? If the latter, you need to know where you are headed, then wrestle with the consequences.

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3 Responses to “Successful Journeys Begin at the End”

  1. Mark,

    “Ageless” advice that has changed me and helps everyone who embraces it.

    I’ll add that the nonprofit I lead is adopting an new “end game.” Our end game is to capitalize on the best available opportunities in the present. We have our values in place, a clear mission, and compelling vision. We aren’t trying to plan the next 5 years beyond applying our values, mission, and vision to each opportunity that comes down the pike.

    We still have the end in mind but we aren’t trying to name it specifically.

    Thanks for your work and all you do to give back to others.


    Leadership Freak

    Dan Rockwell

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ramesh Babu, Randy Block and Dan Rockwell, m p friedman. m p friedman said: Successful Journeys Begin at the End: Way back in the 80s, when dinosaurs and your author roamed the earth, Stephe… [...]

  3. mpfriedman says:

    Dan – Defining your organization’s destination in terms of mission (the destination we continually pursue but can never reach) rather than more specific objectives absolutely works. And the combination of values + mission + vision form a terrific screen for evaluating opportunities.

    The challenge will be if there are more opportunities than organizational bandwidth. Then priorities may need to be set, and that could require more specific goals or strategies. Time will tell whether you need them or not.

    Dan, thanks for your support!


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