We’ve talked at length about the importance of clarifying the win—shorthand for being clear on what you are going to call success (one of Peter Drucker’s most important questions).  For anything to really succeed you must first reach a kind of clarity on what will be seen as a win.  You really do need to do that first, before you get started.  Why?  Because without clarity, even to do it in print, you will have difficult time remembering what you originally set out to do.  You won’t be as hard on yourself down the road.  And that leads to a kind of settling or compromise that ultimately kills or maims vision.

Great allusion to this idea in Drucker’s recounting of General George C. Marshall’s legendary record of putting the right people in the right places.  To make people decisions Marshall followed a set of five guidelines.  Check out the fifth principle: Make sure the appointee understands the assignment.  Sound familiar?  It’s another way of saying, “clarify the win”.  Drucker takes it to a little more specific place when he writes, “Perhaps the best way to do this [make sure the appointee understands the assignment] is to ask the new person to carefully think over what they have to do to be a success, and then, ninety days into the job, have the person commit to it in writing (April 18, The Daily Drucker).”

What if we did that?  Think it would make a difference?

Understanding and Clarifying the Win