Driving a manual car is a dying art. What was once standard – a manual transmission – is quickly being replaced by automatic defaults.
While the newer models offer ease for city life, there’s something lost on the engine doing all the thinking for us.
Once upon a time, learning to drive was learning to feel the subtle shifts in the car’s performance.
Each gear, or level, has its breakpoint so to speak. When each threshold is met, once the speed and RPM reach their max, the gear must be shifted. The engine cannot maintain its current performance at its current level – it will burn out.
Being aware of limits allows us as leaders to maximize growth, focus, and influence others.
As leaders, I encourage you to begin planning in terms of cycles.
Similar to transmissions, people have systems and thresholds.
Working with a group of people, at least if you wish to be productive, requires a defined focus.
Delegation cannot occur unless you’re confident everyone on the team is working as one.
Research tells us when teams work in terms of one-hundred days, they’re able to maintain an intense focus because the end is in sight. Extra effort is placed toward the goal because there is a deadline, a finish line.
Look at your organization’s calendar. What time frames are you working with? Design and realign as needed. If large tasks need to be broken down, do so!
Having attainable goals will lead to achieved goals.
Calling to mind any emergency responder makes this aspect of the human design immediately understood.
Extreme situations, emergencies and high intensity projects, induce adrenaline. This chemical makes the unthinkable possible – it’s a surge of energy needed at times to overcome the large hurdles facing our ministries.
Consider projects – the BIG ones – ahead of you in the next twelve months. Are they balanced? Have you spread them across your year in a realistic way or are you expecting your team to develop superhero powers?
Once again, go back to the drawing board – look at the calendar. Break down projects into smaller pieces to effectively achieve the whole. Bite size if needed!
Put the brakes on any project spanning over one-hundred days. You want to be successful, not supernatural.
Driving in the mountains, especially if you want to venture off the beaten path, requires taking your engine to the next level. Try to pull off the road in the Carolina mountains in an average sedan and you’ll suddenly be very aware of your car’s limitations.
SUVs made for this terrain, however, effortlessly kick up the dust as they help you explore. They’re made with an extra option for performance: four-wheel drive. Shifting into 4WD gives you the power to control your vehicle – and the road – in a whole new way.
Guess what – your power to influence has an expiration date as well.
Once again, it comes back to one-hundred.
I am in no way saying you have one-hundred days total to accomplish your mission, but what I am saying is that you have windows of opportunity for influence.
Consider your prospects, both those you’ve connected with and those who are on your list. From the time you make contact, you have a window of one-hundred days during which you wield the most control.
Make note of follow-up deadlines and stick to it. If you’re putting in the work at the front end, a la face-to-face, make sure you sandwich your efforts and seal the deal when your donors can still be impacted.
I hope this encourages you and entices you to fire up your engines! Your God given vision was made to perform. It’s time to harness the power of one-hundred and hit the open road! I look forward to hearing about your shift in gears!