Serving on The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Edmonton Chapter Board (eoedmonton.com) brings me great satisfaction; it is a pleasure too. EO is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 13,000 influential business owners with 179 chapters in 57 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond.
Obviously biased, I believe entrepreneurs play an integral role in driving economic growth, creating meaningful employment opportunities for others, and supporting stronger communities through their volunteer and charitable contributions. Serving on the Board is a rewarding learning experience and reinforces that I will always make time for entrepreneurs.
Each year, the Board’s President selects a theme or area of focus. This year, EO Edmonton President, Luke Williamson, chose Summit. This theme guides learning activities through guest speakers and shared experiences, and encourages all members of EO Edmonton to explore Summit as a metaphor for business and life.
The Summit metaphor speaks to me and its parallels with Incite’s strategic planning work with our clients. There are numerous lessons that we can all apply as we work to move our businesses forward. Take a moment to consider how the five Summit lessons below can apply to your business and your Summit goals for 2024.
- Summit Lesson #1: Do you have a clear goal?
If the goal is not clearly stated, it will fail to be the necessary rallying cry to drive your team. Business goals such as growth or revenue diversification are too broad to channel the effort required to tackle a new summit. When planning for 2024, aim to clearly and concisely spell out exactly what the goals are for the year. What will be different? How will the organization look at the end of the year? Will every member of the team be able to articulate and remember the goal?
- Summit Lesson #2: Is your goal bold and compelling?
Clarity of goal is critical, but the goal must also be bold to push your team to new heights. We are often cautious in setting goals so as not to overshoot our capabilities. But people are generally more motivated to take on a moonshot than they are to make incremental improvements. To truly inspire and incite (pun intended) your people and yourself to achieve great things, the dream must be big and bold enough to capture one’s imagination and call out the best within us to work towards achieving it.
- Summit Lesson #3: Is your team aligned around the goal?
No team can summit a major peak if they are not on the same page. Take time to engage your team in setting a big goal and then test to ensure everyone is aligned with the opportunity. On a difficult summit journey, there is no time for competing agendas or misunderstandings. Can everyone on the team clearly articulate the goal, understand their role and unite in the required effort to go after it?
- Summit Lesson #4: How will you face the inevitable setbacks as you climb towards your goal?
The journey to a summit is never smooth. At some point, harsh weather, difficult terrain or a crisis of confidence will test the team. How will you stay resilient when you veer off course? Teams should prepare for a summit with increasingly difficult trials. Much like an Everest team moves through a series of ascents and descents to acclimatize and prepare themselves for the final summit, seek smaller tests to help your team adjust to increasingly difficult moments. Talk about how you will handle setbacks in advance and then use them as learning opportunities for future growth.
- Summit Lesson #5: How will you ensure you are able to get back down?
Getting to the top of the mountain is only half the task. Achieving a new revenue level or entering a new market is not successful if your organization is not set up to sustain the new reality. Organizations are often guilty of pushing so hard to achieve a goal that their supply chains can’t keep up or their teams end up so burnt out that they fall back within a year or two of achieving the goal. Pace yourself accordingly and invest the resources necessary to ensure you are set up to maintain success long-term.
Take a moment to reflect on these lessons and apply them to your Summit goals for 2024.