What Are Your Non-negotiables?
What are your non-negotiables?
What is the “hill that you’d die on”? Your “ride or die”?
However, you say it, we’re really talking about non-negotiables. The main thing in your business, or your life. The purpose or mission you’re building everything around.
Whether you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or the lead sandwich-maker for your pack of pantry emptying marauders, no matter what work you have been called to—you need standards. The principles or values or mission that you simply will not compromise on, to accomplish your task.
When we allow little compromises or distractions to creep in, when we adjust our plans or actions to take on that extra thing or accommodate a request ‘just this once’, we’re soon in a situation or circumstance that we did not plan for or would not have chosen. We have been pulled away from the main thing, investing our time, energy, and resources in ways that do not accomplish our mission or purpose.
Some call it mission creep—drifting away from your main thing. Chick-Fil-A is not going to be serving hamburgers any time soon. They just aren’t. Chicken is their mission, and they’re sticking to it.
Why is this drift away from our non-negotiables such a big deal?
I can think of a few good reasons but here’s one:
If we don’t have a clear and established framework with which to filter our decisions, it’s not only inefficient, it’s not repeatable or scalable.
Let that sink in for a minute.
If there’s no clarity, we are actually holding back the results we seek.
Solomon said it this way in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained” (AMP). It’s important to note that, in the original language, this is the same word used to describe the Israelites as they wildly worshiped a golden calf—that lack of restraint.
As Global Disciples, our non-negotiables include our mission, vision, and values, as well as our guiding principles and central focus. We refer to this as our Global Disciples Arena. Our mission is to equip leaders selected by their churches to prepare disciple-makers, who multiply churches among least-reached people. If a potential opportunity doesn’t support that mission, or if it fails to land squarely within our core values and guiding principles, it clearly lies beyond the scope of our calling and we can politely decline.
Your non-negotiables might focus on your company goals, your brand quality or identity: “We use Dave’s Killer Bread. Always.” Or what you’ve established to get the job done: “We sweep the right side of the street first and then the left. Every time.” Whatever it is that serves your mission, your goal, or your end product—and to do anything else or anything less would take you off-course—that is your non-negotiable.
Do what you do. Do it well. Clearly communicate your non-negotiables with your leaders and your team, making it easier for them to stay in their lanes and execute at a high level—knowing what they’re working towards. Keep your main thing the main thing, and stay on mission for success.
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