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The Gap

I’m a member of a men’s bible study group that has been meeting on and off for about 10 years. The group ranges from 15-20 men and at age 51, I’m one of the younger guys in the room usually. This group has given me great opportunity to learn from some pretty well established and worldly men. It’s been an awesome learning experience for me over the years to just sit and listen to these guys share their views on life.

Over the past few weeks, we have started studying a new book. One of the featured chapters talks about our mortality (I know, what a great motivational topic, right?). Most people have been through the exercise that asks a person, “What do you want your obituary to say?” Our groups discussion went a step further. The facilitator, a super smart retired attorney named Steve, said “Okay, you know what you want your obit to say. Now, what do you think others would write if they had to craft your obituary about your life?”

That is some heavy stuff for 6:30 AM on a Monday morning. To be honest, the group struggled with the discussion around this internal versus external analysis.

As things got moving, we started to focus in on the “gap”. That is, what is the “gap” between where you want your life to be and where others probably would say you are today? If we are honest, surely others would say even the best people have things they can improve upon. As our group’s discussion was taking shape and each of us in the room took a personal inventory on this gap question, I started to think about all the different sports focused organizations we work with. Wouldn’t the same gap analysis apply to those entities as it does to an individual person? So, restated...

When it is documented, what do you want your organization’s history to say about the work you did? Taking the second step, given what we know today, what would the stakeholders of your organization say is your legacy today? If you want through this analysis, what do you think the “gap” is for your organization today?

If we are in one place today, but aspire to be at a different mountaintop tomorrow, isn’t that really our gap? Given that this is a pretty abstract concept, I’ll give you a real-life example…

When we started the Denver Sports Commission, the near-term goal was to build a solid and sustainable organization that would host national level events each year that over time, would build a foundation for an Olympic bid in the future (our long-term goal). That’s a pretty big gap right, to go from hosting NCAA and NGB events to the Olympics, but that was our game plan. Everything we did was intentional and evolved around closing that gap. (If you want more on how we achieved our goals in Denver, shoot me an email and I can elaborate).

We leave you with this. Given the Denver example, how can you articulate your short and long-term goals for your organization, and how then, can you work to close that gap?

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