The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
― Confucius

Your success will be defined by your team’s ability to compartmentalize and prioritize. Use the EOS Process® to clarify, simplify, and prioritize your vision. When you do that, you’ll find that everyone in your organization will be clear on where you want to go and how you want to get there. Everyone will be disciplined and accountable in executing your vision, gaining consistent traction in achieving it, and advancing as a healthy, functional, cohesive team.

When I help my clients clarify their 10-Year Target™, 3-Year Picture™, 1-Year Plan, and quarterly Rocks, they often ask me why it’s important to progressively define their vision. What’s the point? I realized that the best way of understanding an answer to their question while watching a documentary about a master sculptor.

Selecting the Stone: The first thing a sculptor must do is decide what kind of stone he or she will use. Will it be alabaster, marble, or soapstone? Will it be the size of a bread-box or weigh 8 tons? Will it be a person, animal, or vase? This is like choosing a 10-Year Target. To get your bearings, you first have to identify your north star. If you don’t, you could be going the wrong way.

Roughing Out: The next stage is called “roughing out.” This means creating a silhouette by cutting away the chunks of stone that do not belong. If the subject of the sculpture is a person, at this point, you can begin to make out the head, torso, arms, and legs. This is akin to creating a 3-Year Picture. An image of what you want your organization to look like begins to take shape. As you begin to get a clear picture of how things will be on the road to success, you and your people will begin to feel energized and excited.

Secondary Shaping: After roughing out the general shape, the sculptor begins carving out the fine features – the eyes, ears, nose, chin, and fingers. In much the same way, an organization’s 1-Year Plan is where the rubber really begins to hit the road. You identify the 3-7 specific goals you must achieve just one short year from now to be on track for your 3-Year Picture and 10-Year Target.

Smooth Finish: Finally, the sculptor smooths and applies the final details to his or her creation. At this point, the image that previously existed only in the sculptor’s imagination is now clear as day. This stage may be likened to establishing quarterly Rocks. You and everyone in our organization know exactly what to focus on like a laser over the next 90 days to achieve your vision.

If the sculptor got impatient and began carving the subject’s ears before deciding on the right size, shape, and type of stone, he or should would end up with lots of regrets. In the same way, if you want success, it is critical to first decide on your general direction and then refine that vision more and more until you know exactly what you should do right now to get everything you hoped for from your business.

Your and your team’s ability to compartmentalize your vision is critical to achieving success. Use the EOS Process to get clear on where you want to go, how you want to get there, and what you should focus on right now. You’ll get to the point where everyone on your team is 100% on the same page with your vision and executing on it with discipline and accountability. You’ll find yourself working together with people you genuinely enjoy being with and advancing as a healthy, functional, cohesive team.

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
Michelangelo

Note: This article was co-authored by Benjamin Wolf.  Mr. Wolf is an EOS Implementer and the founder of of Wolf’s Edge Consulting, a New York-based business strategy execution and coaching firm.