Working backwards moves you forward

“Begin with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey

Success depends on your ability to envision a preferred future. Organizational leaders define success before it happens.


Drucker famously said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”


But, what happens after you determine the “right things?”

After success is identified

After determining the “right things” to do, work backwards so you can move forward.

Suppose the right thing to do is leadership development.

First, identify the leadership qualities your organization values.

Don’t ask, “What do our leaders need or lack?” Thats working from what is to what isn’t.

Ask, “What leadership qualities/skills/behaviors do we value?” After identifying your valued leader-attributes, you’re ready to work backwards. Now you can develop a plan and program to get you there.

Surprisingly, working backwards is proactive rather than reactive. It enables you to resist the tyranny of the urgent or chasing the leadership trend of the day.

Working backwards always ends up with identifying the people required to move you forward. However, if you begin with the people, you’re limited by what is. On the other hand, working backwards opens the door to what could be.

Working backwards from a desired objective fuels vision and lifts organizations above current limitations. In my opinion, working backwards defines you and your leadership.


What are some of the right things to do, i.e. leadership development? You might consider the right things to do in relationships, organizations, families, or social media.

The tyranny of the urgent frequently causes leaders to lose sight of desired ends. How can leaders keep the end in mind when they are buried in today’s urgency’s?


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