Editor’s Note: Ben Yoskovitz is one of our favorite contributors. Today he offers a nice post at his Instigator Blog about vision, and how to keep “the big picture” in focus while struggling through the minutiae of “moving the ball forward” on a daily basis. Ben’s whole post is here, Keeping a 20,000 Foot View One Day at a Time, but here are his takeaways.
It’s definitely easy to lose sight of the 20,000 foot strategic goals and vision when battling daily issues. What’s worse, is how easy it becomes to change strategies quickly when you lose sight of what you were originally setting out to do. Strategies, goals and visions will change. There’s no doubt about that. But it strikes me how easy it is to change gears too quickly because of factors “on the ground” … without stepping back and taking an overall view of things.
On that front, here are  things I’ve been thinking about further …
1) Have a Strong Vision. The stronger your initial vision and goal, the better. That doesn’t mean your business needs to be dedicated to saving the planet, or some massively grandiose mission of dethroning Google and being worth $20 billion in a single year. But whatever your goal – keep it top-of-mind, believe in it, and reference it on a regular basis. Chances are when the going gets tough, you’ll ask yourself, “Why the hell am I doing this?” Having a strong vision will remind you. And the stronger it is, the harder it is to deviate from it in a blink of an eye.
2) Have Strategy / Vision Meetings. Take time out of your insane schedule to meet with your other founders and team members to look at the big picture. It’s a good time to re-align and re-adjust goals without radically changing them on-the-fly. At Standout Jobs we haven’t succeeded at doing this a lot – especially with the team – but it’s something that I do think is important.
3) Make Small Adjustments Before Big Ones. The path of least resistance is probably a good one to take. You don’t want to get out of the gate, launch your startup, and five nanoseconds later change everything up. Try and make small adjustments – fine tune things – and see how it goes from there.
4) Stay Analytical & Objective. Having a strong mission is great, but if you’re too focused on it and unable to see problems and make changes you’ll be in trouble. So stay analytical and objective. Measure as much as you can. Don’t make changes blindly.
5) Keep Your Options Open. Options are always good. So any strategy or change in strategy that reduces options is risky. If you can make small changes to your vision and increase your options, then you’re heading in the right direction.