I heard something once in church that really got me thinking:
“Your direction, not your intentions, determines your destination.”
What does this mean? Let me share with you some examples that I heard.
- Your intention may be to lose weight, but if you keep “super-sizing” fast food meals, will you get to your goal? No.
- Your intention may be to grow closer to your kids, but if you work longer and longer hours or pay little attention to them while you’re home, you won’t reach your destination.
There were other examples, but I think you’ve got the point.
I began to ask myself if this principle also applies to life as a manager/leader? I think it does. Many team members intend to provide a superior customer experience. They really want to go above and beyond in hitting goals. Managers want to become better leaders and help their team develop to the next level. There are a lot of great intentions all around us.
But how many of us fall back into our normal patterns and keep doing the same-0l’-same-ol’?
In order to get to your destination, you have to focus on your direction – the behaviors and actions that will get you there. Good intentions (without focus) will not be good for anything. If you are in Chicago and intend to drive to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, you won’t get there if you begin driving westbound on I-80. If you intend to be successful as a manager/leader, you won’t get there by doing things that have proven to result in little impact.
Your destination is about results. Your company is expecting you to produce meaningful results. Your efforts must positively impact the bottom line. The way you develop yourself and your staff will greatly impact your results. Results happen by doing more than just showing up. You make it happen.
You know your areas of opportunity more than anyone. If you desire to head in the right direction, be very honest with yourself and where you are at this very moment. Be courageous enough to seek help from mentors. Be resourceful enough to read books/articles that will help you develop those weak areas in your life. Be realistic enough to know that lasting change does not happen overnight.
The right direction means that you begin taking the steps in that direction. Make the most of those steps.