I always cringe when I hear statements like:
“I hope our digital media campaign drives sales.”
“I hope we can find a solid replacement for our VP of HR.”
“I hope the new software will improve our productivity.”
Hope. Even if it isn’t meant literally, it conveys a mindset. That you’re not taking full responsibility for the outcome. That somehow it’s in the hands of the fates.
I don’t want to hear about your hopes. I want to hear about your intentions. And what actions you’re going to take to make sure those intentions get translated into outcomes. Hope implies it’s out of your control. It provides an easy excuse for when the desired outcomes aren’t achieved.
Rarely will you have total control in business. Fortunately, the game isn’t about having total control. It’s about maximizing influence, especially when you don’t have total control. How you tilt the odds in your favor. How you anticipate what could go well, and plan to exploit it. How you anticipate what might not go well, and plan to prevent or mitigate it.
Intentions, not hope. Influence, not control.
Language shapes mindset. Hope is not a management strategy. My intention is that now you’ll understand the difference.
Make it happen.