Successful Meetings - August 2009 - (Page 20)

PLANNER’S WORKSHOP management matters The importance of long-term thinking and short-term priorities See the Forest and the Trees By Sam Allman I Sam Allman is CEO of Allman Consulting and Training, Inc. He is also a motivational speaker, consultant, and author, whose books include Heart and Mind Selling. For more information, visit 20 I SM I August 2009 I Illustration Credit: Chad Crowe believe a lack of clear, long-term vision underlies nearly all business failures. Leaders without vision live in the moment. As my friend Dan Newbold says, “What frustrates us most in our life is to give up what we want most for what we want now.” Are you into instant gratification? Or are you willing to endure short-term pain for a longerterm gain? A study reported by Harvard University determined that the most important quality of successful people was the ability to think long-term. A vision is, quite simply, the clearest possible picture of a future desired result. For entrepreneurs, thinking long-term is driven by the question: “How much will my business be worth when I’m ready to retire or sell it?” Bottom-line: If you spend your days preparing to sell your business, even if that date is years away, you are a visionary. On the other hand, doesn’t it make equal sense to live today as if it were your last? You only go around once in this life, so grab the gusto while you can. We may dream of a great future, but those remain dreams unless we act on them today. Today is the only moment of time we have within our control. In leadership, it’s about taking control of the only moment of time that you currently have. Being a successful leader is not determined by fate, nor good fortune, but by a succession of successful days. When you put together a succession of five successful days, you have a successful week. Fifty-plus successful weeks get you a successful year. Without any progress today, a vision remains an empty dream. If the number one cause of business failure is lack of vision, then the number two cause is the lack of focus on the right things. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe aptly said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” After all, how many times have you spent your day being busy, but in the end, you hadn’t accomplished much that you’d call important? I’m not suggesting that you work harder, or longer, or simply more efficiently. I am suggesting that you focus on results. That means focusing on doing the right job before focusing on doing the job right. As Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, says, “First things first, second things hardly at all.” So what do you do? Ten minutes of planning will save hours in execution. Every evening before retiring or every morning before you begin your day, remind yourself, “What is my vision? Where do I want to go?” Then, you say to yourself, “What can I do today that will produce the results I want?” A leader without vision, or one who can’t take control of it, will become a crisis manager. He will always be in the reactive mode—the mode of 95 percent of business leaders. The paradox is that vision is not enough. Of course, your plan should include time to meet emergencies. Great leaders know that while they can’t control the wind, they can adjust the sail. But in the end, their day is governed by vision. That’s why visionaries, who control their days, change the world. SM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - August 2009

Successful Meetings - August 2009
Editors Letter
Planning for the World, in 5 Days
Personal Success
Incentive Insights
Food & Beverage
Management Matters
The Show Must Go On
What Happens in Vegas...
Rolling on the High Seas
Betting on Meetings
Meetings Hype 2.0
Places and Spaces
Midwest Meetings
Palm Springs Desert Resorts
2009 Pinnacle Awards

Successful Meetings - August 2009