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Do you shave after you get dressed? Put on your makeup before bed? Put your shoes on before your pants? Well, that depends on the outcome you want: you’ll either turn out wrinkled and soapy or be all dressed up with nowhere to go because you did things out of order.

In the same way, there’s a logical sequence that must be followed to achieve your company’s goals.

We’ve actually been talking about this sequence for the past month: Authority, Order, Function, Outcome.

If you start this equation at the top, the authority in your company will establish its structure and designate roles for managers and employees. They will be chosen based on their skills and gifts so that they function more than they “work,” quickly achieving desirable outcomes. You can also work the sequence in reverse: clarify the outcome you want to achieve, identify the skills needed to make it happen, create a plan, and put someone in charge of it.

Think back over a recent project in your company, like training a new salesperson or finding a new healthcare plan. Who was in charge? How did they get it done? Where did they start? Was the job performed thoroughly and easily, or was it like pulling teeth? What was the outcome?

Think about a project you’ve got on the back burner: What do you want to happen? Who is magnetically drawn to that type of work, regardless of their current job title? What has to be done first? Who will take the blame or bask in the glory?

To achieve an outcome, perform a function according the order established by the authority.

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