Wednesday, February 20, 2013
One of the best examples of a successful Almost Impossible Stretch Goal is the Moon Shot. (To read more about the power of Almost Impossible Goals, click here.)
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy – in a speech to a joint session of Congress – announced the goal of landing a man on the moon and safely returning him to Earth. For those of you not alive in the 1960s, it was a magical time. “Could we do it?” As every Apollo mission moved forward, the anticipation grew. And, of course, there were setbacks. But – on July 20, 1969, we made it!
When President Kennedy announced the goal, many in the scientific community thought it was impossible to achieve – and certainly not in the time frame he set. But others were inspired to go for it. New technologies were invented and the entire country was proud, and inspired.
There were none more inspired than the U. S. Congress. Brimming with confidence, they decided to apply the same Almost Impossible Stretch Goal mentality to another urgent national issue – the scourge of cancer. They passed a resolution to “cure cancer by 1976 as a fitting celebration for the bicentennial.”
So, what gives? They set the goal, but cancer is still not cured – why?
First, Almost Impossible Goals will generate creativity toward their achievement, but there is no promise that the goal will be fully achieved.
Second, even though a goal may not be fully achieved it can still lead to great progress. I will give you a very personal example.
Last year when I had my annual physical, my doc was looking over my chart. “Wow, you were diagnosed with cancer in 1983. You know, had that happened ten years earlier you would probably be dead right now.” Okay, that was a sobering comment. Then he added, with a smile, “We came up with a lot of a great new drugs in the 1970s.”
So, while we have not yet cured cancer, we have made a lot of progress and I am very thankful for that.
FYI – I officially celebrate my 30 year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis on this Sunday, February 24. Feel free to have an extra drink this weekend to celebrate with me.
Posted by Dr. Rob Sheehan at 4:43 PM
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Why is it that even the most inspiring visions sometimes . . . fizzle?
It’s because excellence and true leadership are really, really hard.
It’s like Fighting Gravity.
|Fighting Gravity was also a fun ska band from Richmond once upon a time.|
Gravity – normalness – pulls at us every day. Try to escape gravity by pulling away from the “norm” to do something “special,” “unique,” and “exceptional?” Gravity tries to pull you back down. “Who are you to try to do something so different and special? Aren’t you busy enough just trying to keep up with the day to day?”
Of course you are.
Here are three ideas for keeping vision alive.
#1. Keep talking about it. Remind one another at the beginning of every staff meeting and every board meeting. “This is where we are going, and why, and how it will make a difference.”
#2. Track your progress and talk about it. Remind one another regularly – at staff and board meetings – of the progress you are making toward the vision. We often get so caught up in the “doing” that we don’t appreciate our successes.
#3. Surround yourself with pictures, posters, inspirational messages that remind you of your vision and mission. I was inspired by the great pictures of kids on the walls of the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore when I visited there and by the artwork made by clients at Healthcare for the Homeless.
Keep your vision alive, fight gravity, and make even more of a Mission Impact.
Posted by Dr. Rob Sheehan at 5:45 AM