Chapter 3. Mapping the Landscape

“The time you want the before you enter the woods.”

—Brendon Burchard, motivation and performance expert

If you were visiting an unfamiliar city, the first thing you’d likely do is check out recommendations online and review some maps of the area. You might check out a street map to get an idea of some distances between your potential accommodation options and the sights you want to see. You might then grab a totally different map to see what transport options are available. And now you glumly conclude that your hotel is miles from anything remotely interesting.

You wouldn’t start by jumping on a plane and then just winging it on arrival. You also probably wouldn’t just take a stranger’s recommendation on faith.

Instead, you’d come up with a high-level idea of what activities and sites are important to you, make sure to prioritize them, and then explore how you could make those things happen. You’d gather intelligence on the location to feel some level of confidence you’re going to have a great time when you get there.

“Gathering intelligence” might sound a bit military, but that’s actually on purpose. You’re doing very much the same thing as a military commander using recon to figure out a strategy. You gather information and develop your skills, awareness, and familiarity with the territory to make the most of your vacation.

Whether you’re planning a special forces op, a short city break, or an organizational transformation to meet ...

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