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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 29: Thinking clearly about objectives

Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When man does not know what harbour he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

Seneca, Roman philosopher

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Deciding on objectives is like that fabulous ladder in Jacob’s dream in Genesis (28:12), stretching from heaven to earth, with angels descending and ascending.

Descending

Descending Jacob’s ladder, from the general and abstract to the particular and concrete, you are answering the question ‘How?’ This is my purpose. Yes, but how are you going to achieve it? By tackling these aims or goals.

Notice that aims, as defined above, are really no more than purpose ...

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