A word or phrase that is not formal or literary, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation.

We use a lot of business colloquialisms.  They are born of a mash-up of various coaching certifications, a lot of business book reading, numerous podcast listens, Kingdom theology, and 50 years of combined business management, consulting, and coaching.  They are standing the test of time and our resolve around them is deepening.

One of them I find we are referencing with increasing frequency is:

The present must be made to serve the future.

The tyranny of the urgent is alive and well and our technological connectedness seems to be increasing the volume and accessibility of that urgency.  We are drowning in the urgent and are often so consumed with surviving the day-to-day, that imagining a more inspired future almost seems an impossibility…a bridge too far.

Another thing we frequently tell leaders is that:

Everyone arrives somewhere, but very few people arrive somewhere on purpose.

The probability that you will be mired in the same situation with very similar frustrations and challenges a year from now, is about 100%…unless you do something really different from what you have been doing.

Once you get really clear on who you are (purpose and values);

Living those out should intend a very different future (vision).

That inspired vision of the future will naturally drive the way you operate today.  That present will start to serve the future.  

Or it won’t.

The reasons the present doesn’t serve the future for most companies is:

  • most don’t really have a real vision (a clearly articulated picture of what the future looks like)

  • they don’t treat their vision like a commitment to them, their teams, or their families

  • they haven’t included key team members in crafting values, purpose, of the vision that results from living those things out

  • they spend all their time on the urgent and don’t work on the clear obstacles that must be solved to realize that future

  • they don’t have a guide (friend, mentor, peer, coach) that is requiring that they execute on the necessary strategic focus areas to ensure that inspired future comes to reality

Companies we work with that articulate a clear vision with their teams find a compelling inevitability that allows them to:

  • hire key positions sooner

  • make hard firing decisions faster

  • make strategic investments more confidently

  • be really comfortable with aggressive coaching and accountability

  • delegate more easily

  • reorganize their companies and their schedules to more effectively address the things that will get them there

So, may you arrive somewhere on purpose next year.  May you assemble a great team, craft values and a purpose, and translate that into an inspired vision.  May you force the present to serve that future by operating differently and finding some kind of guide.


  • Do you and your team know who you are (values & purpose)?  It is articulated, celebrated, & taught?

  • Have you articulated a clear picture of a desired future (vision)?

  • Do you have a clear strategic plan that addresses the obstacles to that future?

  • Are you allowing anyone to hold you accountable?