Higher Intent 4- Success Strategies

Posted on December 8, 2009


In the first article of the ‘Higher Intent’ series, we discussed about how focusing on the higher intent allows us to stay flexible in our approach while always keeping the outcome in sight. In the final installment of the series, we will complement this concept by looking at how focusing on the higher intent and flexibility can further be used to lead us to success.

Let us first, start with a question. A new entrepreneur who has great aspirations decided to start a business. However, due to his lack of experience, the business went bust at the first encounter of resistance. Undeterred, the entrepreneur decided that it was sheer bad luck and chose to give it another go. The same glitch occurred, and once again, the business failed. Still strong, the resilient man went on to rebuild his business, with the exact same blueprint. At this point, do you think that he would succeed in future? For those who believe that he’d never succeed, you are probably right. For those who say that his resilience would pay off and he’d eventually succeed, realise that it is foolish to hope to succeed by doing the same thing over and over again.

The brave young entrepreneur certainly did focus on his goals. However, what was lacking was the flexibility to change strategy after he has failed. Instead, he chose to repeat the same strategy, knowing through experience that it would not work. It is often said that with experience comes wisdom. However, if we do not leverage on the experience we gain, we would always be at square one. Wisdom only comes when we learn the lessons and digest the feedback of our past successes and failures and capitalise on knowledge to make better decisions.

What would have benefited the entrepreneur was to focus only on his outcome and switch strategies to reach his goals. In other words, by focusing only on his desired outcome, the entrepreneur could access the underlying cause for each failure and determine how it relates to the final outcome. Hence, this knowledge will allow him to tailor his new approach which is more suited to achieve his goal than the previous.

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb after thousands of failed attempts. Realise that it was not a thousand different failures of a single same experiment but a single unique failure of a thousand different experiments. If he chose to stick blindly with the same strategy and lost sight of his higher intent, we certainly would not have the light bulb we know today.

Leadership Lesson- Focusing on the outcome without allowing flexibility in the process would only take us down the dead end. The path to success requires us to keep in mind our higher intent and at the same time be flexible enough to change our strategy when it does not work.

Thinking in the frame of the Higher Intent allows us to focus on our goals and stay flexible with the process. It allows us to add value to our missions as well as capitalise on the expertise of each of our team members. Such a useful tool would certainly render a leader more resourceful and wise and is without a doubt, a worthy lesson of leadership to learn.

See also:

The Higher Intent 1- Flexibility

The Higher Intent 2- Adding Value

The Higher Intent 3- Communication