Priorities are King: Setting a Strategy for 2017

February 23, 2017
Whitney VanKlaveren

Featured in Muncie Power Quarterly, Issue 1, 2017

Strategy. It is the key to winning wars, competing in sports, obtaining business goals and much more. When we think about it, strategy plays a role in many aspects of our lives. At the heart of every great strategy however lies the same focus – priorities – whether that is for a country, company, team or individual.

Imagine you are playing a game of chess with two pieces left, your king and queen. There’s an opportunity to capture a pawn with your queen across the board, but in order to do so the king must be left unprotected, vulnerable. While you would be able to capture another game piece, the pawn is not worth risking your king.

As we all know in chess our number one priority is to protect our king, which means that as we carry out our strategy – as we make our moves – to capture our opponent’s king all the while we are doing so with the intent to protect our own. Knowing our priorities to set our company strategy for 2017 is no different.

And as we work to carry out this strategy and remain focused on our priorities throughout the year, it will not be without its challenges. We all will face stressful situations and distractions regardless of how our priorities, strategy and overall process might differ from one another. Because we are human, we will want to do it all – create an amazing strategy, address any and all important issues, remain true to our priorities and even find a way to capture that pawn across the chessboard.

But the truth is, we can’t. Issues will come up that will not be a part of our strategy nor part of our top priorities list – much like the pawn. What we must remember is that it’s ok to say “no” to these issues that do not hit our list of priorities because at the end of the day it’s our priorities that must remain our focus, not stressful situations or distractions.

Setting a strategy and implementing it effectively takes discipline and focus. But as long as we stay aligned with our priorities and refuse to get derailed, we stand to come out on the other side of 2017 achieving what we set out to accomplish.

Ray L. Chambers - Chairman, CEO & President

Ray L. Chambers joined Muncie Power Products as Vice President of the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Division in 2004. He became President of the company in 2009, and was named to his current position in January 2012. He holds a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a master's degree from Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma. He is a thought leader and visionary within the industry.