What Boats Should You Be Burning?

History tells us that when Alexander the Great invaded Persia, he burned his ships upon landing on the shores of Persia and then told his men if they wanted to go home they would have to go home in Persian ships. This provided significant motivation to the Greek soldiers and they fought hard and conquered the Persians even though they were far outnumbered. This same strategy was repeated on the shores of Mexico in 1519 by Hernan Cortes with his small army of 600 Spaniards. Turns out Cortes also won this war and conquered Mexico. It is amazing what motivated people can do!

Now, I do not recommend burning boats or vehicles or other modes of transportation in today’s world. However, metaphorically speaking, you need to ask yourself what boats have carried your business to some distant shores and now need to be burned so there is no way back? In other words, what mission critical initiatives were rolled out in your organization that did not get 100% buy-in from your staff because you allowed old behaviors or tools or processes to continue?