Here’s a simple recipe for success: Start with a worthy, important goal – an audacious goal, one that can inspire others to get behind it. A goal that is clear, so you know when you have reached it. A goal that has … a time deadline. Next, involve others in discussion and planning how that audacious goal might be achieved. Have that group create a number of smaller, intermediate goals that create small successes and build momentum. Next, regularly report to stakeholders exactly where you are on the road to achievement, whether good or bad. Along the way, keep the communication lines open so that all stakeholders see action. Inspire. Repeat.
While this might sound like simple common-sense advice from a self-help book on success and goals (and it could be), it is actually my quick overview of a bold plan put in place by Michael A. Nutter, the visionary Mayor of Philadelphia. His goal: turn Philadelphia into “the greenest city in America by 2015”. Beginning with his 2008 inaugural address, he created incredible energy around this goal, and based on their self-reporting, the City of Brotherly Love appears to be well on its way toward becoming that city.