Mantra #02: If you don’t know where to go – anywhere will take you there

Earlier I posted an article about another of my mantras; “Never open a door you don’t want them to enter”.

Today you will hear about another of my mantra’s; “If you don’t know where to go, anywhere will take you there”.

This statement is not mine of origin, but I stole it from one my earlier mentors. “Steel with pride” it says, and this one I am proud to have stolen 30 years ago. And, it has been well used and followed me every day both professionally and private.

So, what is my interpretation of the statement? And, not least – how is it to any help to me in my daily life?

In my early 20s I worked as a program developer of Banking systems in Norway. Not a very good one but at an acceptable level. That is not the point. I learnt then, that going directly from problem description and jump directly into the coding often ended up with a solution but not the solution it should’ve been. It was simply too early in my process of learning the business processes and not spending sufficient time on setting the problem description into a holistic view often ended up with solution that couldn’t be used in the larger view. I didn’t know enough about what the “light house” looked like and where it was – and the application was accordingly.

I experienced the same when working as Data Base Administrator when setting up new databases or re-engineered old databases. If I didn’t spend sufficient time analyzing the context, the solution often ended up without a context.

As time went by, I understood that I had to spend time understanding the current and future context I was about to deliver a contribution to. By doing that, the contribution far more often ended up in being a success and making a difference to the business I was working in.

This interest in and for the holistic view lead me into the path of a business-oriented Project Manager, which I am still proud to say I am.

So, in my role as CEO for Storebrand Fondene AS, this mantra came into full value. The Board of Directors and owners had some requirements to fulfill and some goals to reach. Setting these requirements and goals into a context and carve out the holistic view always gave me the path to walk. It was my compass, and I knew where to go to finally end up in the “light house”.

So, even if it takes some time initially to enter the chopper and see it all in the holistic view it is worth it when looking at the result and even the final cost. Yes, it takes some time initially, but it saves you far more time later in the process. It is all about where to spend the hours/days.

It would be interesting to hear from you if you are using the same mantra and in what contexts.

Live by it and I promise you “an easier life” – not “an easy life” but “an easier life”…

Good luck.