Your Worldwide View: Where to Begin?

And then let’s chat about a few ways you can proselytize it throughout your organization.

Almost sixty years ago, John F. Kennedy decided the Americans needed to lead ‘space exploration.’ An extensive budget was drawn up, an organization called NASA was put in charge, and a sub-culture devoted to space exploration was born almost overnight.

Now, ‘space exploration’ sounds very dull and furthermore, the term tells us NOTHING.

Listen to the ring in ‘Put a man on the moon.’ Suddenly everything becomes tangible.

‘Putting a man on the moon’ was the WHY, and it became the tagline, the rallying cry and the big hairy audacious goal the entire country got behind. That phrase was emotional, had a concrete and measurable objective, and its simplicity made it super easy for anyone to identify and remember.

An over-used question, still in use today, is “so, what is it you do?” The exciting thing at NASA was that every employee said, “I am putting a man on the moon.”

I don’t think any of us can NOT imagine either the astronauts or the NASA senior leaders saying — — “I am putting a man on the moon.” Because that seems like a very normal thing for them to say, in their specific jobs, right?

How normal is it for a janitor, a parking lot attendant or even a receptionist to quote the company WHY statement or tag line or even know the big hairy audacious goal? I would wager that for most companies, even today, very abnormal. Not at NASA.

Every employee at NASA knew their job was to ‘put a man on the moon.’ And that fact alone coloured how they all viewed their job, responsibilities, and daily activities. ‘Putting a man on the moon’ not only kept all the employees focussed and committed on the goal, that phrase also branded all of NASA, its activities and its reputation.

I share this story to set up how you, too can do a WHY in your world. Let me give you five different examples.

Are you in the business of:

  • Delighting the senses of 1,000,000 by the end of 2025? (This might be something used by restaurants, caterers, creatives, wineries, and even foodies.)
  • Eliminating plastics by 2030? (This has an infinite amount of applications to an endless number of groups.)
  • Creating 100 smiles every day? (This might be something for dentists, ice cream parlours, and even entertainment shows.)
  • Supporting every single family that darkens our door? (This could be the blanket statement for so many non-profit/social organizations as well as churches, funeral homes and even credit unions or banks.)
  • Extending your health; enriching your life? (Imagine if hospitals, pharma, and even water services used this.)

Clearly articulating the big WHY is an exercise every progressive organization puts itself thru. Because the WHY or big hairy audacious goal is succinctly and emotionally articulated. And because it removes the focus from pedalling an individual product or service to making an impact.

The following two steps are ensuring that each person in the organization understands that big dream of impacting the world. And then helping them embrace the concept that they are an integral part of it. Because human beings want and need to be part of something big.

As a senior business leader or owner of your organization, one of your responsibilities is to champion that WHY statement at every discussion with your team members and colleagues. For example, you could ask them about their progress (like, how many smiles have YOU created today). You could start each meeting off with a statistic or a success moment. Then, you could share a recent piece of learning and ask for advice on making it better for next time.

Of course, never overlook all the opportunities that present themselves daily. High five and thank everyone for helping move your organization closer to its goal.

When you, the leader, take the time to talk about your why, your tagline or rallying cry, so does your team. This has the impact of spreading like a contagious viral infection. Everyone is focused and committed. As soon as that happens, the real magic begins.

Interested in discussing your particular situation? Reach out.

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Charlene Norman

Charlene Norman

BulletProof Your Business Now (dot com) Fascinated with most things business. Some experience in delivering massive results. Love dogs, gardens and wine.