I was talking to the President of a prestigious association this week. He said that they don't know yet what they are going to do for the next two years. Admittedly, he told me that this position and responsibility is the 4th of his priorities right now.
As I think about it, prioritization is one of the management prerogatives. Either you are good at it or not. Multi-tasking is never effective.
You cannot be doing many things at the same time with the same level of quality, attentiveness, and thoroughness for all. Inattention and lack of diligence are signs that managers are not giving the full consideration to the issues that deserve more than a stamp approval. Executives juggling all the balls with two hands is great and fun act to see, like acrobats. But once the balls started to drop, it is not a pleasant sight at all.
The balls can represent your family, business, faith and community, and other professional and personal pursuits. All these are great but don't make the mistake of trying to do everything all at once, hoping that it will later on settle down. Some issues don't and some do. There are clear repercussions to cruising along the highway with less than 100% of attention and control.
If there are too many priorities, then you really don't have a priority. Pick 2-3 that you can safely and thoroughly perform with outstanding results or leave it for the next time or opportunity.
Today's managers and executives' failure to execute is not because of lack of skill or knowledge or commitment, it is because of lack of strategic prioritization.
Focus on the 80% that drives the greatest results.
Starting something with the end-game in mind.
In the game of chess, the end game moves are the most-awaited and most-studied part of the game. The players have the initial advantage but without a clear game plan as to how they will win and overcome the challenges of the opponent, the game is already moving to the losing end. Analysts and chess masters would have specific procedures, tactics, and strategies to overcome even the most complex moves of the opponent to either create an advantage or to force a draw, at least.
In life and business, in your organizations, are you starting from the point of what long-term results are you trying to achieve? What measures do you have as evidence that you have achieved them? What are the concrete steps that you are willing to take to ensure that the commitment will be thorough and binding? Who needs to be fully informed, partially informed, and be told on what needs to be done?
The end-game creates a strategic mindset for leaders to deeply understand how to win before they even start. Evolution and adaptation are givens, increasing the chance of success is an option that you can make.
This is going to irk a lot of people.
They resort to consensus to shoot down proposals and ideas because they know that because of 'groupthink' any 'ideas not invented here' will go down the trashing floor.
They resort to consensus to look for unanimity. People will have a different opinion and perspective but it doesn't mean they need to be on your side all the time. Who has the real decision-making authority in this issue?
They resort to consensus when in fact the project needs a strong proponent, champion, and supporter. If the group will be the champion, no body is the real champion, proponent, and endorser.
They resort to consensus to free themselves from the real responsibility of taking a strong leadership when it is needed, hiding behind the guise of "collaboration, cooperation, buy-in" when in fact, there will be no buy-in when no one is absolutely championing it no matter what. People need to the passion, confidence, and commitment to the issue!
Consensus is so much abused these days. Learn to discern when to use it and not to use it or you are blocking opportunities and improvements through consensus.
If speakers, authors, and experts selling products and services have the following words: adaptive, agile, or disruptive, run to the hills.
It is just a fad and will not make your organization better if you just follow the hype, paying for a few hours of lecture, and without actually touching your organizations' operations, values, or ways of doing.
Change is an adversarial process. There will be blood for sure. There are no spectators sitting on the fence that will be successful.
Eclesiastes reminds us that there is a season for everthing.
A time to be born and a time to die a
A time to plant and a time to uproot
A time to kill and a time to heal
A time to tear down and a time to build
A time to weep and a time to laugh
A time to mourn and a time to dance
This week as I celebrate my birthday, let this be a time for reflection, gratefulness, and celebration of family and love.
A few things about me:
I am not a best-selling author.
Having this label means one day you are the top of the heap. That being said, you can say that you a 'best-selling' author.
I didn't do TEDx.
TEDx self-selects those that will be in front of the audience.
I am not in a millionaire/billionaire league.
This is the worst league to be in when you don't have a message just the monies to throw around.
I am not a PhD.
Having a PhD doesn't make you successful, smart, and happy.
I am not covered by Fast Company, New Times Journal, Time Magazine, etc.
Being covered by those media companies is great but it is more an icing to the cake.
I am not voted 43 out of 45.
Who gets to do that? Those people that are looking for more subscriptions.
I am not in the whos' who list.
You pay your way in there.
I am not in the Speakers bureau.
You have to audition and they get a cut out of your hard-earned work.
I am not in the YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter ad.
Trolling in those media is not what by clients do.
I am not a podcaster, TV or media host sensation.
Buying your way into this business is a sure sign you are in deep trouble.
I didn't speak with Deepak Chopra, Tim Robbins, or Michelle Obama on stage.
Having shared a stage with these personalities does not make you effective, relevant, and truly amazing.
Who has this profile? Thousands of people claiming to be a celebrity expert, author, blogger, marketer, consultant, etc.
But who am I?
I help organizations and individuals achieve organizational excellence.
I mentor many people from different parts of the world.
I am a community collaborator and builder.
I navigate many spaces and interesting networks that I enjoy learning from and giving value.
I have a lot of friends in many industries and sectors.
I am a global person with deep roots in communities.
I love to travel and enjoy cultural and psychological aspect of it.
I believe that you can make it anywhere.
Genes and your upbringing contribute to your resilience and grit.
I love my family, neighbors, friends and church.
I love to share my insights, lessons, and knowledge to those that are ready to hear.
I believe in the honest-to-goodness decency and goodness of people.
I believe in values, virtues, and principles to live by.
Being real is not hiding behind these labels and approval sheets that can be manufactured overnight. Being real is knowing that you can make a difference in real-world and in real-time to real people.
So tell me, who has the real worth, the fabricated sense of self or the real self?