FOUNDATIONS: Know the Score

Knowing the Score Means Knowing What You Want

Build a strategy beginning with your core values, your vision and mission, and your long-term strategic objectives.

You’ve got to think about “big things” while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.  – Alvin Toffler

The hues of the opal, 
the light of the diamond, 
are not to be seen 
if the eye is too near.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.  – Arthur Golden

Knowing the score is basic preparation for the conductor. You can’t even consider conducting a rehearsal or performance without thorough knowledge of the score. It is also critical that you develop a plan for teaching the music and enabling your unique interpretation. In fact, rehearsals don’t always go as you have planned, so having a backup strategy, and a backup for the backup, are also essential. Knowing the score and having a clear vision of the final result enables the conductor to develop the strategy for leading the ensemble to the place of excellence captured in the vision of the conductor – the leader.

Transfer this planning element, this level of preparation, this commitment to excellence to other areas of leadership. Knowing the score equals knowing your goals and objectives, which is having a clear vision of the results you want to achieve. If you were to prepare for committee meetings, board meetings, or for staff gatherings like a conductor prepares for rehearsal, how different would the results be? Typically, a conductor will spend 2 to 3 times the amount of time scheduled for rehearsal in preparation for that rehearsal. This is because the conductor understands the relevance between preparation and achieving excellence.

Look at your goals for the year and evaluate your progress. If you don’t have goals, here’s what I suggest. Write 3 goals. Two goals are for your organization, for areas that you can have an impact as leader, and one additional goal is personal, such as fitness, spiritual growth, family or home, etc. Make the goal specific and timed, and share it with 3 other people who will help you be accountable. Accountability equals achievability.

Here’s my format for goals:

* Specific goal (be very specific)
* Completion date
* Relationships needed to complete the goal
* Obstacles in reaching the goal
* Benefits in achieving the goal

Here are two secrets that I share with my coaching clients that make a difference in achieving the goal. First, be sure to share it as I suggested above, then identify the benefit in reaching the goal. These two factors will raise your potential of success tremendously.

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

Hugh Ballou (Author)