Chapter 3Get TUF!

The Challenge

Over the years I have become completely convinced that most people do not fall short of their potential because they are lazy or are not driven, but rather because they are unfocused. They spend much of the day a mile wide and an inch deep, chasing too many goals at once, majoring in minor activities, mistaking motion for progress, speed for direction, and activity for accomplishment. As a result stress levels rise, workloads increase, and objectives are missed. To exacerbate the confusion, goal-setting gurus teach that you should set dozens of goals in all areas of your life simultaneously. Similarly, consultants advise you to focus harder on your wildly important goals, when in one's mind, most business or life goals are wildly important. Like the hungry dog who after chasing five rabbits at once ends up tired and unfulfilled, well-intentioned but unfocused people do the same—in many cases throughout their entire lifetime.

Focus Fanatically on The Ultimate Few

In my master the art of execution (MAX) workshop, the first step of execution I teach in the MAX process is to focus fanatically on the ultimate few (TUF). When I speak of “getting TUF,” I am referring to focusing like a laser on the one, two, or three ultimate few goals maximum that will drive the rest of your organization to its highest potential. These are not necessarily the easiest, least costly, most fun, or most popular goals; they are those most important. From the 10 or 20 ...

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