Former work associates and now friends laughed with me over lunch today as they recalled how I often said “the devil’s in the big picture”… we laughed and laughed.
With the backing of experience, I stand by my now locally famous quote when taken in its intended context. Of course we need to pay attention to details and assure sound fundamentals in our business; but without clarity in the big picture, elements such as Mission, Brand, Culture and Leadership are just shadows in the mist. Mist is what makes fog and bad things happen in the fog.
Management guru Peter Drucker is quoted as saying “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The sentiment is similar in that a motivated team with purpose will outperform a disciplined team lacking motivation and purpose. We need that secret sauce in human performance which truly makes the whole greater than the sum of it’s parts.
The Apostle Paul encourages us this way, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…” Phil 3:13-14.
Effective Vision Casting Feeds Culture
The common message is we must maintain focus on our Vision/Mission and the priority on striving toward that Vision. There are an infinite number of ways we become smothered in the fog of details while executing our strategies and plans. As a business leader, you must set yourself on always highlighting the big picture even when you need to cut down to the details in the course of operations.
Working with small business owners, it is common to struggle with a clear Vision. Many clients come with pressing issues or what I call a “burning platform” which always works to push the work on Vision and Mission down in priority. While common sense tells us we must tend to the burning platform and put the fire of the day out, “the devil’s in the big picture!” As business leaders, we must fight to put the necessary work of developing a strong Vision and Mission.
Four Concrete Steps Toward A Clear Vision:
- Download the free Crossroads Clarity Kit as a tool to guide you through questions designed to help you prepare and brainstorm for Vision. Allocate sufficient time in the week for uninterrupted focus and concentration. Write down your thoughts as a reference guide on defining your Vision.
- Pray on your Vision brainstorming. Expand or hone your responses written in step one based upon prayerful consideration and let the Holy Spirit pour into your business with the “upward call of God.”
- Seek a trusted counselor to serve as a sounding board. Qualify your counselor as someone you discern mature, wise and knowledgeable in business.
- Test your Vision against the demands of the market. Don’t be blown by the wind and afraid to fight for your Vision but also allow yourself to learn from the real experience of running your business. Revisit these steps over the course of several months to test your Vision and cure it into a solid foundation that can stand up to the rigor of time.
It can be hard for a small business owner to prioritize The Big Picture amongst the many needs coming at you every day. The Big Picture is your Vision; it’s your Culture; it’s your Brand.
So “press on toward the goal” and know that The Devil’s In The Big Picture.