Tag Archives: rusty rueff

day 84: Count The Cost…First

Work is full of lots of “big ideas” and what Collins and Porras call: “BHAGs…Big Hairy Audacious Goals”. We are pushed to come up with these and sometimes we are the ones who are challenging others to do so. There’s nothing wrong with these as they do push us to new limits and help us reach our full potential. There are many great stories about those who invented or achieved the seemingly impossible just because someone else told them that their work to date was “just not good enough”. When we work with, and for, the kind of people who can get the most from us, we tend to like and respect them and we thank them for making us better. At the same time though we need to be sure that we are being realistic in our goal setting and also doing our homework upfront before we commit or promise to deliver. It’s a fine balance as we want to always go above and beyond but at the same time we don’t want to be known as one who consistently sets lofty and unrealistic goals and then ends up not delivering or letting others down. It is actually Biblical to be a realistic planner and expectation setter. We see this in Luke as Jesus was teaching about making commitments to be a follower of Him. He says in Chapter 14: 28-30, “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of funds. And then how everyone would laugh at you! They would say, ‘There’s the person who started the building and ran out of money before it was finished”. These are words to which the wise will listen. There are many things in business that are worse to start and never finish than to never have started in the first place. The stakes are especially high when it comes to those things that can truly effect how people feel about their leaders and the business. I was recently consulting with an organization who wanted to do all the right things but when I looked over the number of initiatives over the past few years that they had started but never completed, one could see a long list of good but because never completed programs that were now corporate shipwrecks. And not surprising to me, but surprising to them, the most recent new programs they had rolled out were received with a jaundiced and skeptical eye. Their reputations as leaders were now built on hollow words and unfulfilled promises. It is not a pretty place to be. As ones who are striving to meld our purpose and our work and use our work as a positive example and platform, we need to think hard about how we set our goals and plans so that we are known to be ones who deliver and don’t over promise or get ahead of ourselves. Each and every time we follow-through, count the cost ahead of time, and then fulfill our commitments we build credibility with others. And one never knows the long-lasting impact of the words and examples from someone who is credible and believable in all they do.

Reference: Luke 14: 28-30 (New Living Testament)