Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thinking Big and backing it up with Excellence in Execution

If you lead an organization or team, large or small, ask yourself these questions.
1) What is my BIG idea?
2) To Whom does it matter?
3) Have I backed up the vision with a credible execution path?
4) Are people following me?
5) How will we know when we are there?

Read these excerpts from Kennedy's transformative speech that continues to impact our lives today and then create your own pocket stump speech. Whether you actually use the speech or not isn't important. The thinking and discovery process is sure to help you clarify your purpose and passion, and then how that is projected on the people you expect to follow you. This will impact the stories you tell to all of your stakeholders.

See related post on Faith Based Execution


Excerpts from Kennedy’s “Man on the Moon” speech.


“I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshaled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment.” …. “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.” ….


“Let it be clear-and this is a judgment which the Members of the Congress must finally make-let if be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action-a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs: 531 million dollars in fiscal '62 -- an estimated seven to nine billion dollars additional over the next five years. If we are to go only half way, or reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all.”

“This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts. It means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated costs of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivalries, or a high turnover of key personnel.

New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could in fact, aggravate them further-unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor, and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of space. “

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