SpearIn a couple of posts on LinkedIn …. Charting Course (I) and Charting Course II, we (a) explored the notion of strategy and SWOT Analysis from the standpoint of character and (b) offered some tips and ideas around exploring talent and songs as sources for finding your WHY.  The thought was to casually explore some ideas that help us focus on passion and purpose for 2016 and beyond.

Strategy and the SWOT Analysis are essentially all about looking within and without to identify the path forward.  Examine your strengths and weaknesses within.  Identify the opportunities and threats from without.  Ultimately, you optimize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses by best responding to those opportunities and threats.  In essence, use what you got to do what you do to seize what you can and defend what you needCharting Course (I) examined this, particularly from the viewpoint of character and virtue.  I invite you to have a read or review, before we move forward.

Charting Course II then looked at songs and talents as sources of clues for determining your WHY.  Your WHY provides the fuel for your engine.  It is your mission, felt and internalized.  Again, I invite you to go back and have a read … to get your clues.

I suggest so as, this day, I would like to introduce a process I call SMASH and MESH.  It is about adding some structure to this question.  It engages the development of both strategy and the path to bringing people together on it.  Today, we will simply introduce the two, for your consideration… and in the next post we will further explore each as they relate to charting your course for 2016 and beyond.

SMASH™ engages the development of strategy, with the lens of character in particular.  Think of it as SMASHing through old concepts and presumptions and groupthink and getting to core.  Consider these five elements.

  • SPIRIT.  Define the spirit of what you do… your countenance with which you will roll and role.  Identify your Humble Swagger by focusing on 5 strengths of character that will define how you roll in all that you do.  This is your ultimate brand… how others know you.
  • MISSION. Clearly identify your WHY.  Laurie Beth Jones once said that a great mission should be one sentence, easily understood and easily memorized.  It must be clear and “tangible” in some powerful way.
  • ACTIONS.  Here, you would lay claim to 3-5 core activities or actions that manifest your spirit and mission.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  This is what you do to make real your spirit and mission.  This is the integrity piece; integrating daily action to achieve mission.
  • SUCCESS. Here, you define success… not in terms of outcomes but effort.  Some aspect of outcomes is out of our hands.  Effort is not.  Here, you define what success looks like in clear language, defined by effort.
  • HAPPINESS.  Finally, you define how you will make the journey joyful.  To achieve long term success, we must find ways to enjoy the ride.  Get clear on how you will do that.

Yes, SMASH™ engages the development of strategy.  It is the planning piece.  MESH™ brings it and us together, on the same page… to create the kind of unity in diversity, and synergy, that is necessary to get it done.

  • MEANING.  For the classroom, campus, company or community, get clear on what the spirit and mission mean for everyone.  Everyone has to understand and buy in to the sense of “being”.  Get real and get engaged by exploring the meaning of who you are and what you do.  Real language.
  • EXECUTION.  Effectively and clearly define how the plan will be executed.  This is about articulating the actions and behaviors necessary for achieving both spirit and mission (the BE and the DO).
  • SERVICE.  Here, you get clear on who and how this serves… all stakeholders… clients, colleagues and constituencies.  This is where you answer what is in it for all.  Here, is the ultimate buy in.
  • HONOR.  Finally, we define how our efforts will honor who we are… how our efforts and destination celebrate all engaged.  The HONOR piece is about how we feel along the journey; how we are valued.

home-page-callstoaction-epic-engageI only ask that you ponder these elements for now.  Consider what you truly want to achieve in 2016 and ponder how these elements might strengthen your clarity.  In the next post, we will explore examples and dig a little deeper on the importance of character in the equation.  Hope you stay with us.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy