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The other day, a friend of mine said, “Hope is NOT a Strategy.”

I’ve always admired his approach to things.  He’s experienced repeated success over multiple companies – always around processes and managed execution.  As a personal mentor of mine, he has shared a number of these nuggets of wisdom (a personal favorite is “Always Sell Value”).  Still, with everything going on, “Hope is NOT a Strategy” has certainly been sitting with me.

Looking internally at HL Group over the past year as we’ve launched our latest version of mobilePLUS, there have been four things that have really influenced our plan and strategy.  I think that these same four principles are a good reminder to everyone when facing challenges like the current pandemic.

The Four Actions:

Identity – You first need to understand who you are and what you do.  Next, you need to define both your biggest strengths and your most significant weaknesses.  Honestly addressing these four areas will eliminate the guesswork for you regarding your market and message.

Investment – When the world slows down, it opens up opportunities for us to leapfrog the competition.  While others are managing “expenses,” they open lanes that were previously clogged.  Investing in new marketing activities and product development can give a unique advantage today, and provide a head start as things open up.

Patience – Things always take longer than we initially expect.  To counter that, you need to do three things during the execution of your plans.  First, stay persistent.  Second, stay strong.  Third, be willing to update and adapt your plan as you discover new information on the journey.  You know the old saying: “Luck is when hard work meets opportunity.”  Give yourself time to be lucky!

Appreciation – We have all grown up believing we need to have goals.  After all, meeting them is generally our measurement for success.  But while having a target is good, it isn’t the only measure of maximum success.  That is only achieved by combining our best effort with accurate information on our target and execution strategy.  If we have given our absolute best, then we can be satisfied with our accomplishments.

Every organization can achieve success in building a strategy based on data, execution, and time.  Usually, failure happens when we leverage incomplete or untrustworthy data (something we strive to eliminate with mobilePLUS), unstructured/disjointed activities, and a lack of will or funds to finish.  Getting all the facts from the start will significantly assist in managing the success of your venture.

Remember, “Hope is NOT a Strategy” – but these four actions may help you in creating a strategy that can work for you!

Wes Haubein
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