Tuesday, 19 February 2013

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execution, youth development, getting  things done
Perfect Execution--------I hope no one can see the helicopter though?

A great idea or plan without proper execution is merely wishful thinking- a dream in your mind or even on paper  that  never  sees the light of the day .

Youths are bombarded with ideas everyday from the universe but they often struggle with execution, actually getting things done.

From the book Four Disciplines of Execution, we get a  mental framework on execution especially as it concerns youth development. Here are three disciplines of execution as relating to youth development.
We use the term youth development  based on its Pittman 1993 definition in which he described it as the continuous  growth process in which all youth are engaged in attempting to  meet their basic personal and social needs in being safe and feeling cared for, valued,  useful, and being spiritually grounded, and  to build skills and competencies that allow them to function and contribute in their daily lives

1. Priortize and Focus.

focus, youth development, execution
If i focus on  these balls i would be able to merge the human testicles.
Most youths pursue too many goals or initiatives at a time in the quest for development and fulfillment. Thus, they never realize the power of priortizing and focusing, of leveraging resources and people toward an overarching and singular goal.

Instead of having a list of 10 things that you are actively pursing like trying to get a degree, relationship, career building, money making etc, have a list of one to two really important goals.Follow these goals hard with the sole purpose of getting things done as pertaining to that singular goal. And once they are accomplished, effectively embed them into the regular and essential ebb and flow of work. You have to understand that you have to be successful in only one thing ( a goal with perfect execution) and then have a success domino effect in other things.

But how do you focus on one or two important goals when there are other important aspects of  youth development?

Just because something is not the priority for a season does not mean it is not important. The regular, ongoing aspects of  getting things done as pertaining to youth development are absolutely essential. But raising an initiative to the top for a season of sustained focus will always rally your time, resources and the forces of nature in  a clear direction.

One possible way to get these things done  is to allocate time to work towards the execution of that singular goal everyday, without any distractions or diversion. Let your mind, body and soul come to terms with the fact that, that singular goal rules.This would ensure you have a healthier and more effective “new normal.”

Admittedly, it is risky. It feels much safer to spread your resources  and focus on a plethora of things. When you focus on everal at a time, you feel like you have a higher probability of succeeding and youth development. The reality is that focusing on everything is more risky. Because no great thing can be  accomplished when everything is the priority. When everything is the priority, nothing really is and you have a very low probability of actually getting things done.

Quoting Winston Churchill , "Execution is the hard work between designing the strategy and the results, the impact". A great  plan or idea without execution is simply  wishful thinking, a dream in your mind or  on paper that is never translated into reality. The hard work can only become meaningful enough when it is in a clear direction.


2. Set Milestones.
goal, youth development, getting things done
If after writing this goal on my mirror
it still fails then i am tattooing the
next one on my face.
After you have decided on a goal  for a season, set milestones that will, by God’s grace and all things being equal, result in the fulfillment of the goal.

To understand milestones, you must understand the difference between Milestones and execution. Milestones are predictive. Execution are outcome based.

For example, imagine you set a goal to lose 25 pounds. The 25 pounds is the Execution. You know the goal and the due date. But to execute well, you need Milestones. It may be your caloric intake, the number of times you hit the gym each week, and the number of cheat meals you are allowed. If you don’t have the right milestones, you will not hit the execution.

You have to understand that is not enough to just have the will to win , you need to get milestones that would result in execution- getting things done.

In summary, don’t just set and declare an important goal. Set milestones underneath that goal. Otherwise  nothing is going to happen.

3. Keep a  goal score.
When you set a clear goal for yourself in relation to youth development. You must identify what success will be. How will you know the goal is accomplished? Keep score. Go over it everyday. It's like a game of soccer, if you go on the field and just play without taking any scores, the attitude is bound to be lackadaisical but once scoring begins, morale rises. Youth development goals have to be constantly scored or else they would become death bed regrets. That is the only way to get these things done.

In a culture of execution, there is also a culture of accountability. When you set milestones  underneath the overarching goal,  you must develop the discipline to discuss the progress, trust to quickly put problems on the table, and courage to confront issues in getting things done.

Further Reading: The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals