Office Hours is a blog series from Dragon Innovation's CEO, Scott Miller, where he talks about travel, hardware, legos--because who doesn't love legos--and everything in-between.
When I make my trips over to the Far East, I like to get the entire Dragon Far East team together for a Fun Day (and actually try to have fun). This year, we decided to hike a mountain in Shenzhen. It was unexpected to find such a beautiful spot among the world’s manufacturing center.
The trail consisted of many many steps. When we started, our objective was to reach the top. However, as we got into it, questions came up wondering how far along we were towards our goal. We noticed that every 5th step was numbered (not on the 0 and 5, but for some reason on the 2 and 7). This gave us a guide to measure our progress, but we still didn’t know whether there were 1,000 or 1,000,000 steps to the top. We found one of the caretakers who informed us there were 2,632 steps (we were on about step 500).
We now had a good idea of how far we were, and how far we had to go. The steps were steep, and it seemed like a long way off. So, we broke this task into smaller, manageable goals.
- Reach step 800 (8 is an auspicious number in China), and then because we were so close, get to step 1000.
- There were 9 stations along the way, so we interspersed making it to the stations, auspicious step numbers (1,888) and intervals (1,500, 2,000, etc).
By framing the problem in this manner, we were able to make steady progress measuring and achieving finite goals that were directly inline with our overall objective to make it to the top of the mountain, which we did and were rewarded with a great view and the feeling of accomplishment.
As we were going through this exercise, I saw a lot of parallels with my job as a CEO, to set the vision and then create manageable and measurable milestones to reach our goal.