Building and sustaining organizational greatness is like building any great structure: it starts with a proven blueprint. Crafting personal achievement and sustained success also starts with a proven blueprint.

My years of academic exercise and business success implementation have shown five distinct factors to building an organization, sustaining its relevance, ensuring its market existence and accelerating its trajectory towards thriving dominance. If these are understood, embraced and implemented, then achievement is the only destination possible. I have found that two critical factors not adhered to will impede organizational and individual success and can also lead to complete implosion.

This blueprint works for start-up entrepreneurial individuals or businesses, and for existing billion-dollar entities. It begins with validating or revalidating five interlinked sequential concepts: Strategic Intent, Operational Implications, Tactical Implementation, Disciplined Approach, Accountability Expectations.

  1. Strategic Intent must be consistent with foundational values of the key stakeholder(s) or organization, driving the vision and trajectory you should to commit to and execute. It illuminates everything you should commit to, believe in, tolerate and, conversely, what you will not commit to, believe in or tolerate. This strategic intent serves as a starting point and check-point to benchmark everything you do and ensures that what you do is in alignment with your values.
  1. Operational Implications deal with needs, systems, procedures, processes, technology, protocols, SOPS, etc., that must be understood, embraced, designed, and utilized to execute the strategic intent. In evaluating organizational resources, abilities, human capital, and resolve for implementation, the operational skill and training needs will become apparent. The rhythm can be set against existing best practice doctrines to exceed goals and needs.
  1. Tactical Implementation addresses human capital and technology execution standards. It drives performance expectations, how these are monitored, feedback provided, standards adhered to, and best practices to exceed quality expectations under budget. Specific “Key Performance Indicators” (KPIs) are set here and utilized in establishing Strategic and Operational components to ensure you are on a success trajectory at all times. This factor requires the competency capacity to ensure your people have the knowledge, training, access to resources, authority, and power to execute best-in-industry standards at all times.

While these are the blueprint foundational requirements for success, the following factors are critical and, if not adhered to by the organization, reinforced constructively by culture, and embraced individually as a personal “code-of-ethics,” these will impede success and can lead to complete implosion.

  1. Disciplined Approach is adherence to doing what must be done on time, with no excuses or blame. This involves the capacity, willingness, and sense of urgency to work beyond responsibilities, position expectations and the organization’s needs, to exceed the expectations and needs of the constituents.
  1. Accountability Expectations start with a self-imposed code to ensure that what you do is always above expectations. This requires appropriate system-wide KPIs to ensure standards of performance are executed in the most cost-, ethically-, legally-effective manner possible. The ability to include individual, peer-to-peer, and customer feedback loops to validate successful execution is welcomed and not seen as a micro-management mechanism.

Here is the most important variable in the entire model: your VALUES serve as the catalyst for the entire sequence. They drive the vision you hold and serve as the baseline for your personal Position Statement or organizational Mission Statement. When your values are in alignment, the trajectory acceleration is limitless; when values are out of alignment, then limited effectiveness will be the reality.

These factors, when implemented within an organization or from a personal level, should be respectful of your history and reflective of the KPIs necessary to ensure that immediate, intermediate, and long-term goals are being met for relevancy both today and tomorrow!

Dr. Jeffrey Magee (Ph.D., PDM, CSP, CMC), the “Thought Leader’s Leader,” is the Group Publisher/Editor & Chief of PERFORMANCE360 Magazine (, Editor of Performance Execution and Performance Driven Selling blogs, and author of 23 books including The Managerial-Leadership Bible, Your Trajectory Code, Performance Execution and The Sales Training Handbook. He is a columnist and highly sought motivational-leadership speaker, and recipient of the United States Junior Chamber’s Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award and the United States National Guard Total Victory Team Medal for civilian contribution to the Armed Services.

This article is reprinted from Vol. 3, No. 1, of Nonprofit Performance Magazine. Subscribe today!
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