I can hardly believe it’s been six months since my amazing week in NYC with my mastermind group, mentor extraordinaire, Alan Weiss, and a dozen other international colleagues in the Million Dollar Consulting Hall of Fame®.
The strategic conversations gave me plenty to think about. In fact, I filled a notebook with dozens of ideas. Truth be told, after working with Alan and the gang for better than ten years, I have well over 100 ideas for elevating my business and my life!
I know I can’t implement them all. Instead, as I tell my CEO clients, it’s best to select one great idea and execute it exceedingly well. We all know how apparent yet challenging this can be: Pick your top priority, do it well, then move to the next. The art is in knowing what to do now, what to postpone, and what to eliminate because it no longer adds value.
The reality is, some things do have to be addressed immediately. Those are pretty easy to spot. For example:
- The FDA is coming to investigate a product, process, or complaint. You have to be prepared.
- A client has a valid emergency and needs your attention by the end of the day. You’ve got to be accessible and responsive.
- There is a pending announcement that will impact your company’s public image, employees, industry standing, or stock price. You need to issue a meaningful statement right away.
Less urgent activities and requests can often be deferred. Yet others need to be declined in order to protect time for higher value activities and pressing deadlines.
Sometimes you have to turn down good opportunities to make room for the great ones.
Instead of continually adding items to your list, periodically step back to review all the demands facing you and the team. Slow down to thoughtfully review each request that comes your way. Decide:Am I going to say yes or no to this? If yes, should I tackle it now or later? Can someone else do the job instead, and reap the benefits of the experience, visibility and credit?
If you say yes, will you move the activity to the top of your list? Or defer as you attend to more pressing matters? The following questions will help you decide:
- Is this truly a priority item?
- How time-sensitive is it?
- Is it better to defer until some preliminary steps have been taken?
- Is this initiative likely to have improved funding or support if we postpone to next quarter, year, or later?
Download your Strategic Leader’s Toolkit for Rapid Results PDF to help you work through these questions. And let me know if you’d like my direct help. I’d love to hear from you.
To your continued success!
Each of us takes an average of 3,500 decisions per day and to get as much as possible of them right we have to ease off the gas pedal and “slow down” (before speeding up again…). We talked a lot about the different things we are faced with on a daily basis. Some of them are non-negotiable and they need to get done right away. I found the “Priority assessment tool” of specific value to be more thoughtful and strategic in the way we handle our workload.
– Tobias Roser Director, International Human Resources, KLX Aerospace, a Boeing Company
To learn more about using the Decision Making Tools and a host of other pragmatic tools for success, read my new book. Slow Down to Speed Up®: Lead, Succeed, and Thrive in a 24/7 World is a powerful resource for leaders from the C-Suite to the front line. Filled with innovative new approaches, pragmatic tools, and real-life success stories, SDTSU tackles the universal challenge of achieving better, faster, more sustainable results in a world of non-stop demands and constant connectivity. Get your copy today!