In the past as I have started new adventures, friends have helped me get jump started. One night after I started Momentum, I was sitting around with Bill Fitzgerald and dreaming about what I would call my next company, and we came up with ignition – you have to have ignition before you can have Momentum. Then we decided the next one would be Spark, but believe it or not several years later another marketing company out of St. Louis was named Spark. Always ahead of the curve or as I tell my students – be thinking five years ahead always.
Several years earlier when I had just started ignition, Tim Brennan, and I were sitting around trying to think of a rally cry for the team. We came up with Poise – An attitude of confidence which comes from complete honesty. A belief in what you are doing is good for you and the customer. To have complete trust in the mission. Poise has lived with all of Susan and my teams since. Core values are always relevant.
So, with our first blog of our next journey as consultants, I wanted to share a lesson shared with me the other day by Joe Ehlinger, one of the most creative people I know. Thanks Joe for sharing this with us.
“The Importance of Get Ahead, Stay Ahead” by Joe Ehlinger
In most sports, you play against two opponents: the other team. And the Clock.
Now most of your training week is spent analyzing the other team. You learn their plays. Their players. You devise strategies to neutralize their strengths and accentuate your own.
But surprisingly, very little time is spent discussing the other opponent: the clock.
In a choice between the other team and the clock, you should know this: Your planning and training may have an effect on the other team.
However, you are absolutely powerless against the clock.
The clock has no emotions. It doesn’t care. It is relentless. It will continue to tick away until you are out of time…and if you are behind when time runs out…you lose.
That is why it is so important at the outset of a project to “Get Ahead and Stay Ahead.” You need to attack a project right from the start. The time at the front is the most valuable. Do not let it slip away.
If you can get out in front of a project, the advantage is yours. More options are open. You can clearly think through decisions. You are in control. You are steering the process.
If you get behind the clock, you are forced to play catch up. You are constantly on defense against time. You will over reach. Become frustrated. Then desperate. And odds are you will either lose or have to accept a result that is far from satisfactory.
Always put the clock on your side. Get ahead, stay ahead. Get out in front. Lead. Command. Once you establish traction and momentum, you may find your projects move through to approval and execution more swiftly, because fewer people will want to oppose or obstruct you.