If you have been following these posts, you know I have a small farm in southwestern Michigan. Our family uses this to escape the noisy city and enjoy the peaceful countryside. The house also doubles as a vacation rental, which allows me to share with others. When I began this venture about a dozen years ago, one of my purposes was to provide the best possible experience for my guests.

Last summer we endured a horrific storm that caused major damage to the property. Shortly after the clean-up was finished, I drove into the driveway and it struck me that the place just wasn’t as attractive as it once was. In fact, I was appalled at the appearance. I said to myself, “This just does not live up to my standards, and it’s certainly not consistent with the purpose I set forth 12 years ago – to provide the best possible experience for my guests.” I had lost sight of my original purpose over time.

As a leader, you have daily pressures to keep the business going, to meet customer needs and keep shareholders satisfied.
• Are you managing your daily schedule in accordance with your larger purpose?
• Are you scheduling work to keep a laser sharp focus on that purpose?
• Do you have the right people on board who challenge your leadership and help you stay on track?
• Are you open to input from your team about adjusting and staying on track?
• Are you receiving feedback from the larger organization?

I never thought I’d be grateful for a tornado-like storm, but I am. This disruption caused me to reflect on my purpose and make significant changes to the farm. In the process, I hired a property manager to help me keep a laser-sharp focus on maintaining the highest possible standards. Together we are executing major improvements. We are excited about a grand re-opening in May. Stay tuned for more photos and stories.