The following article is excerpted from a lecture by Prem Chopra at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in September 2006. The text of the entire lecture can be found in Masters of the Game: Reaching Beyond the Nexus to Success and Happiness.
Three Parts of Action
To give you a complete picture of purposeful action, and how it leads to continuous quality improvement, I will place before you today three aspects of all actions. These aspects form a comprehensive framework that encompasses all actions in—quality, management, leadership and entrepreneurship. The Framework for Purposeful Action applies to professional as well as personal actions.
- forming the purpose for action
- performing the action; and
- assessing and renewing the action.
Say, you are contemplating an action, such as producing a product, or planning a journey. You wish to travel from Atlanta to Los Angeles. What is the first thing to consider? Well, you must have a purpose for the journey. Then, you can set your goal to get to Los Angeles by a certain date and time. So, if you have a purpose and a goal, what you need next is a plan to get there. Without a plan to get to where you want to go, how will you progress towards your destination? How will you accomplish your goal? Without a plan, or with a plan that you do not follow, you will be easily distracted by the multitude of desires that drive you. External elements will distract you, and many will conflict with your journey, hindering your progress. In other words, you start traveling in one direction and when that doesn’t work out you go another way, and so on.