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The Last Mile | #MyFridayStory No. 176

The Last Mile | #MyFridayStory No. 176

“The skills that helped the Israelites escape Egypt, are different from what is needed to get them into The Promised Land.”

Every enterprise, church, or NGO starts small.

The spark of an idea brought on by someone curious enough to explore a better way of fulfilling a need. This is how businesses, communities and movements start. There is no prerequisite for who can come up with an idea and find a following. There are no qualifications to gain or formula that must be applied—the opportunity is open to almost anyone.

Someone who sets out to improve the world through their efforts is a leader.

Whether you volunteer to improve the lives of the marginalised, or you provide a service that gets women home safely, you’re a leader. Early in the formation of a movement, the founders nurtured the fledgeling idea. They gathered like-minded and open-minded friends and colleagues to flesh out the concept.

A solopreneur setting up a barbershop, hair salon or nail-bar has similar initial discussions to someone setting up a global operation. An entrepreneur has the vision of creating an enterprise that will be larger than herself; that will create employment and generate revenue regardless of her presence. A church, community movement or NGO has an initial kernel of caring folk moved enough to improve lives.

All these leaders have a common goal:

Make the world a better place.

Through tenacity, courage, grit, determination, sweat and tears, these leaders wake up each day laser-focused on their goal. As their efforts slowly start to pay dividends, the business starts to grow. Gone are the days of a few enthusiastic friends gathered around a dining room table, today new skills are needed to scale the business.

Every business that starts and grows larger over time, experiences a plateau. The duration of the stagnant growth is largely determined by overcoming what Dan Sullivan calls, The Ceiling of Complexity.” Sullivan posits that all growth happens in stages. And in each stage of growth, folks reach a point where they can’t grow any further with their existing set of skills and knowledge. This happens in every stage of growth throughout the business lifecycle.

Sullivan adds, “As you progress in your growth, you gain experience by solving problems and transacting business. However, this experience often comes at a price: complexity. Each problem you solve, each transaction you make, and each hurdle you overcome adds to this complexity to the point where it holds you back from future growth, of capability, performance, and achievement. You become overwhelmed by the messes, “stuff,” complications, conflicts, and contradictions that come from doing things a certain way for a long time.”

The Last Mile is a term used in logistics. It implies the last mile of a delivery is the most complex and most likely to fail. A good friend and mentor used it in the context of taking a business to the next level. The visionary founder, leader, minister, CEO, sole proprietor, or informal trader is aware of their shortcomings and limitations. They have successfully brought the operation to this far. By being open to other perspectives and thoughts they take the brave and courageous step that makes The Last Mile a lot more fun.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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