Are you kicking off this new decade with a big vision, yet find yourself feeling completely overwhelmed? Not only do we know how you feel, we have also been in your shoes.
One snowy January morning in 2010, Measurement Resources Company’s founder, Sheri Chaney Jones, promised herself that she would be working at Measurement Resources full time by January 2011. More than anything, she wanted to create a firm that increases the capacity of non-profit and government sector organizations through high-performance practices and data-driven insights. As we enter into our second decade, Measurement Resources is now a national organizational development firm that employs high-achieving individuals focused on helping government and non-profit organizations use data to solve complex social problems!
We paused to celebrate and reflect on this milestone. Out of this reflection, we took note of 10 key takeaways from our first decade that we plan on taking forward with us, so that we can more easily overcome future challenges and successfully scale new opportunities. We believe these principles will help Measurement Resources move its mission forward, as we work to strengthen communities by strengthening the organizations that serve them. We’re also hopeful that these 10 principles will help you better fulfill your mission.
1. Goals are obtained with a clear vision, focused action, and unwavering faith.
Measurement Resources started with a clear and specific vision that has remained unchanged over the past decade. There were countless sleepless nights and thoughts of giving up. But the following day, we would reconfirm our commitment and take the next faithful step. Success came from repeating this process day after day, week after week.
2. Once you commit to the vision, the how reveals itself.
In 2010, Sheri was armed with a vision, a ton of passion, and some proven experience and skills in her toolbox. Yet, how she would transition from her current career situation to running a national consulting firm was still a complete mystery to her. Success with early clients fueled her courage to publish a book, which led to speaking opportunities, which led to new connections, more contracts, and hiring more staff. Sheri said “yes” to many new opportunities and kept searching until the how revealed itself.
3. Success requires vulnerability, follow-through, and delivering extreme value.
Each decision that has propelled Measurement Resources forward has required team members to step outside their comfort zones. Early on, Sheri forced herself to share her vision, make cold calls, and hire talented staff before the company needed them in place. Persistence is the key to success. As Measurement Resources continued to win contracts, our clients’ successes became just as important as our own. This approach has paid off in raving fans, referrals and repeat business.
4. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Fear stands for “false evidence appearing real.” When fear seems too overwhelming, make a list of all the reasons this course of action is the best one; acknowledge the fear and move forward anyway.
5. Don’t make decisions based on the highest highs or the lowest lows.
The greatest victories and lowest low points often occur at the same time. It’s important not to let the highest highs or the lowest lows define us as professionals, individuals, or collectively as organizations. Keep your sights on the vision and find something to be grateful for throughout each of these moments, and success is sure to follow.
6. Success is fueled by gratitude.
For the past 10 years, Sheri has recorded a daily gratitude list. As humans, we cannot be grateful and fearful at the same time. This simple practice of gratitude helps us as professionals to “fall in love” with our clients, be kind to our teammates, and find the best solutions for challenges. Measurement Resources was built on the practice of gratitude.
7. The actions you take today predict your success two years from now.
All organizations experience “up” years and “down” years. “Down” years are a result of not focusing on the best course of action throughout the two or three preceding years. No matter how busy we are or how abundant times feel in the moment, it is imperative to continuously attend to the activities that drive success.
8. The only way to fail is to give up.
Plans not working out as intended is part of the journey. These situations are gifts as they allow us to learn and adopt a continuous improvement approach, which breeds greater knowledge and more successful endeavors.
9. Delegation and letting go is essential for growth.
Achieving Measurement Resources’ vision of helping as many organizations as possible implement high-performing practices to achieve lasting social change has required (and will continue to require) personal growth from each team member. Ten years ago, Sheri did it all—marketing, client management, proposal writing and handling every aspect of running the business. As the company has continued to grow, each year she has had to let go of more and more. Much of Measurement Resources’ success can be attributed to hiring amazing and talented team members, who have embraced our culture, have “fallen in love” with our clients, and who always strive to deliver the highest-value work possible.
10. What got us here will not get us there.
Each new level of success has required changes in our operations. Separate from our constants—focusing on our vision, delivering extreme value, and maintaining our positive and high-performing culture—continued growth requires changes in how we approach these constants, so that we can improve how we accomplish our mission.
If you would like to learn more about our