People tell us to know the objective before we do things but at a supringly alarming rate a lot of us act without an objective or without setting the right objective.
Objective setting is a very subtle subject and moving the words a bit can easily turn the objective on the head. I am in to pre sales and I learnt this the hard way. I used to prepare material and make presentations to potential customers. The feedback I used to get was ok, but unfortunately positive feedback makes you blind and I was no different. But at the end of the day I lost the first two deals I worked on. My first reaction was to blame it on factors external which are beyond my control. But internally it was hurting, so I recorded the presentation and re-played it. I tried to imagine my self as a customer when listening to it. I was sure that I had manage to impress the customer why they needed a solution.
I was still searching, if everything was right why did we loose the deal, all of a sudden the eureka moment dawned, it was an error in the objective, I have told them why they needed a solution but I didn't tell, why they needed OUR solution. It was a lesson that I learnt by paying a great price. So now I try to drill in to my team mates to set their objective right before they do anything.
I hope this lesson will be useful to who ever reads this, hence thought of sharing.