In his book The Leadership Rock, Garris Elkins inverts the famous Stephen Covey phrase “begin with the end in mind” to “end with the beginning in mind.” The basic concept is that in order to end well, we must recapture the beginning– the original vision. In this book, Elkins recounts a conversation he had with me:
I asked, “Bob, what advice to you give to individuals or organizations who have plateaued or are in decline? How do you help get them moving again?”…
Bob’s answer was interesting. He said, “The first thing I ask is this, ‘what was your original vision?’” He went on to say most leaders are able to recite their vision in great detail. Bob would then ask a set of questions to determine if the leaders were still functioning in their original vision. Within plateaued or declining corporations or ministries there was a common reality: each one had stopped doing the very thing that brought them success in the first place. They ceased doing their original vision.
Bob then shared a powerful truth with me, “Each time someone rediscovered their original vision and began to do it once again, in each case, without exception, they began to move forward and grow.”
Elkins then goes on to explore the value of rediscovering your original DNA so as to end well. Ending with the beginning in mind.
I have used this leadership principle in many places over the last 20 years. That single conversation with you over lunch was such a valuable time. Thank you for your investment in me and many others.