The three children work extremely well together, getting things done, working through problems and helping each other see past danger and fear. When given a task from their parents, true greatness is achieved. Their parents are Values and a Mission, so when the children are given a task, they understand what they are building, who and what’s it for, and why they are building it.
When working on other tasks, however, Focus, Determination and Grit struggle. Focus asks Grit why they are doing what they are. Grit simply replies, “We must work through this. You can do it, Focus.” Focus is confused but continues on. Determination then asks, “Why am I so determined to do this task? Who are we doing this for?” Grit, again says, “don’t worry about it. Just get it done”. Along the way, each child makes assumptions and decisions based on their incomplete understanding and takes a few shortcuts and wrong turns because they don’t truly understand why they are doing what they are, the true task and who they are helping.
Focus, determination, grit, values and mission live in all of us. Imagine combining all of those people into one and you have…yourself. You may be stronger in one facet than the other, but if you try, you can engage each one and align your values to your grit.
Without values, what’s the point of being determined, focused and full of grit? You will likely become quite productive, but won’t feel connected to the work you are doing.
This analogy can be used for individuals as well as for organizations. Without clearly articulated values and a mission to connect to, focus, determination and grit are useful but woefully under achieve against their potential. Both individuals and organizations make the mistake of working through issues and problems with powerful focus and determination, only to find that they lost the future vision.
I challenge you to define your values. Write a mission statement for your life, your work. Focus, Determination and Grit are much more effective when working for a common purpose!