Wednesday, October 9, 2013

It All Begins Upstream

Perhaps you remember a time you tried to swim or paddle against a strong current; the times you walked against the wind after first feeling it at your back; or watched a paddler seemingly effortlessly run a class V rapid with only a few shifts of their oar.

Isn't it great to have the force of the current as your friend?

To fully leverage that current, experienced paddlers remind us of a simple but powerful rule:

It all begins upstream

Experienced paddlers know that fighting the current for position and outcome in the heat of the battle takes too much of their precious energy.   More importantly, options disappear once you are in the grip of the rapids, limiting the chance of a successful run.

Instead,  they set everything up above the rapid - reading the current, positioning the raft -  so that they can execute a clean run.   When approaching a rapid, the river demands our attention, forces us to plan our route, to set up for the run and have the physical strength to keep our course.

Working upstream to select the best options, to set up for the best position, put your boat in the right current allows you to ride through the whitewater with only minor adjustments.  

Successful owners and CEOs approach their business the same way…plan, prepare and execute upstream and the profit will not be as difficult to earn.  It's more fun, as well, riding the rapids rather than struggling against them. 

If you have (or have not) created an "upstream" (read:  strategic) plan for your company, please click on "Comments" below and share your experiences with others.  


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