Chapter 1The Beginning of the MiddleWhy New Strategies Stall After the Exciting Kickoff

Before we begin, let's talk about the very first moments of your new strategy. The beginning is great. You are clear, focused, ambitious, ready—and your motivation to move forward seems like the most natural and obvious thing in the world. This new initiative is seriously important to your company and your career. Everyone is on board. You are very committed.

But at this point—at the beginning—it's important to realize that your new strategy is fragile. It hasn't taken hold yet. Think of the launch of your new strategy like your first week of a gym membership: Will you really go to the gym every week and transform your life? Or will you go back to your old habits, and get busy with all the other stuff in your life after the initial inspiration wears off?

What you are facing is the long and vast abyss of the “Middle.” The Middle is where the transformation will happen—or not. One of the undeniable realities of the Middle is that it's the long part—and the simple, human fact is that:

It's really hard for anyone, not to mention a whole organization, to stay focused and motivated on doing new and difficult things for a long time.

This is the challenge your business transformation is facing. How will you and your team keep the focus and motivation to do the new, hard work every day, for the next 12–24 months, when it's just so much easier to…well…not to?

As the leader of a transformation, you ...

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