After the initial shock and stress of the pandemic, it is time for us leaders to start engaging fully with the post-pandemic world—for there are tougher and hitherto unprecedented challenges on the near horizon. They cannot be ignored. The planet, and her people, cannot wait.
Missions are simply our commitment to doing something, ideally something that moves on strategies, plans and visions towards completion. If we take on a mission, it means that we have made an agreement with ourselves (and ideally others) that we will do a certain thing. The most important thing about this kind of commitment, the commitment to complete a mission, is that we obey the two golden rules of mission accomplishment.
- The Yes or No Rule
- The No Wiggle Rule
These are two rules for getting things done with the most efficiency and impact.
1. THE YES OR NO RULE
Any mission must be written in a way that, when you ask the question ‘has it been done’, the answer can only be a yes or no. Just as no-one can be half pregnant, neither can a mission be half done. It’s an all or nothing thing.
[NO] Write to people about my idea
[YES] Write and post three letters about my idea
2. THE NO WIGGLE RULE
Any mission must have a date AND time when it will be done by. That way we can’t wiggle out of it by saying ‘it’s almost done’.
[NO] By end of the week
[YES] By Friday 6pm
With these rules discipline really counts – if we can harness our innate leadership potential to be as rigorous as possible with them we will walk much faster down the path to success.
Agreeing and then completing missions is the only way we can make real change in our lives – changes that, when put together over time, grow to create a significant difference in how our lives, organisations or communities are working. All the benefits that come from creative leadership remain in our minds unless we take real action and complete real missions. In fact doing this is the only real way that we can tell if our new ideas, creative leadership tools and life strategies are actually working or not. In other words, you will have little idea if this toolkit has actually really helped or not unless you commit to doing, and then completing, missions. If you don’t, then we cannot guarantee any visible benefits from this toolkit – nor can you realistically expect any!
Note on not completing missions
At some point it is likely that everyone will commit to doing a mission, and then not complete it. In fact, some people get really excited about making loads of really great changes, and take on loads of missions. But then real life gets in the way and they find it hard to fulfil their missions as they agreed to. Now this is no big deal in itself – commitments can always be remade and done the following week. But when we start having more than one or two incomplete missions it tends to have a severely discouraging effect on the person who agreed to do the mission in the first place. Research shows that in these situations we start to believe we aren’t doing the process right or even that it is too much for us to deal with and then we start to persuade ourselves that we don’t want to continue at all. So it is best to limit what we take – avoiding being over-stretched and overwhelmed – and then make sure we get it done.
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