Business Strategy: Ready for Your Road Trip?

Years ago when my four children were small, my wife and I took them on a road trip to see their grandparents. I had told the three oldest kids that we were getting up in the morning to drive to the Midwest. Our youngest son Danny, who was 3 at the time, was already in bed.

Danny, who was (and still is) rather headstrong, used to sleep in costumes — sometimes superheroes, sometimes animals. This particular morning, he refused to take off his Batman™ costume, so I launched him into the car with his costume on, cape and all.

The kids got hungry about four hours into our drive, so we stopped at a McDonald’s™ for lunch. Still in his threadbare Batman™ costume, Danny was playing with two dinosaurs having an epic battle over a French fry. He suddenly looked up at me (remember, we’re four hours into the drive) and said, “Dad … where are we going?”

As fall approaches, many of you are focusing on budgets, operating plans, capital expense items (don’t forget to consider Obama’s new tax proposal regarding depreciation and how this impacts potential PP&E needs) and other annual planning issues. That’s great. However, do your people really know where they’re going? Ask them! Too many CEOs assume their people intuitively understand the vision and strategy of the business.

Over the past several years, I’ve spoken to many groups of CEOs and executives hoping to someday occupy a C-suite. Guess what?! Ninety percent of the CEOs believe they have a very clear strategy and vision, yet 70 percent of the executives — who work for CEOs — can’t articulate the vision of their company! That’s a very big disconnect and, in my book, inexcusable.

Where are you going?


Todd Ordal is President of Applied Strategy®. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Todd is the author of, Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be(Morgan James Publishing, 2016). Connect with Todd on LinkedIn, Twitter, call 303-527-0417 or email todd@toddordal.com.

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