Focus on What Matters

Very few leaders are bored in their roles. There are more issues and opportunities than there are hours available in the day. I hear a lot of people complain that they would be more effective if they just had more time. The last time I checked, all of us, regardless of who we are, have 24 hours in a day. The key, therefore, is not to find more time, but to better leverage the allotment of time we are all given.

There is an old adage that says the good is the enemy of the great. Let's talk about this a bit. When I first took on my current role, there were more opportunities for improvement (i.e., train wrecks) than I could possibly address. There were two challenges associated with addressing the situation. The first was prioritization. When everything is broken, it can feel overwhelming. The emotional reaction is to run around plugging up holes in the dike. The problem with that approach is that you run out of fingers pretty quickly. You have to take a step backward, think about and devote your efforts to what really matters. In every organization, there is a short list of things that will make the difference between success and failure. There are items that are so critical that failure to address them will jeopardize the entire endeavor. There are also opportunities so important and so fleeting that they can be game changers. Failure to seize strategic opportunities or address critical exposures can be the difference between winning and losing the game.

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