“The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process, which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
In the fable of “The Tortoise and The Hare”, the slow and steady tortoise wins the race. A good process will always get you to the finish line. Natural ability, an abundance of resources, overconfidence, and unbridled passion or excitement can all tempt us to speed up and ignore establishing a good process. Getting from “here to there” is best accomplished through self-discipline and a well thought out plan.
Have you ever experienced “buyer’s remorse”? I know the feeling all too well. The “it seems too good to be true” deal that you were so excited about yesterday morning, kept you awake all night with the question: “What was I thinking?” Buyer’s remorse is simply the result of acting without a good process. The feeling of remorse comes from processing the decision after it’s been made rather than before. Here’s what I’ve discovered: The better a process is on the front end, the less likely you are to have regrets later on. One great example of a good process in the Bible is the account of Nehemiah rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem.
Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”…But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side. The trumpeter stayed with me to sound the alarm. (Nehemiah 4:14-18 NLT)
Even though Nehemiah had physical enemies threatening to attack at any moment during his construction project, he was successful because he designed a good daily process. The work was slow and steady but Nehemiah evaluated the situation and designed a process to address all the issues at hand. Because of a good process, the wall was rebuilt against all odds. Nehemiah was a patient, wise and courageous leader who realized the importance of breaking down a huge project into well planned segments.
Evaluate the projects you are working on right now to see if there are ways you could improve the process. Well-designed plans build confidence as well as provide an opportunity for you to gain the buy-in of your team.
Be disciplined in applying a good process to the decisions and projects you are working on today. You will gain better results. Remember, a good process always wins the day!