“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee
I spend my time helping businesses and business leaders be successful. It’s an extraordinarily challenging and rewarding career. Every situation, every individual, every organization is different. No two days are every alike.
When I first started doing this for a living, I was convinced that my biggest task would be to “get people to do stuff.” My perception was that businesses and leaders weren’t achieving what they wanted because they just weren’t doing the things they knew they should do. To a point, that was correct.
What I’ve learned however, is that the real challenge is to help people “try to do less stuff.” Most situations I’ve been in don’t involve a business that has no idea what to do. Instead, they involve a business that has lots of ideas about what to do, and – to some degree – tries to do all of them at once. The result of a bunch of overwhelmed, overstressed, confused people bouncing all over the place.
As we get enter a new year, my challenge to you is not to go find a bunch of valuable things to do. My challenge to you is to figure out what’s really the most critical thing you could do that would have the biggest impact on your business. You might have several ideas for growing your business. What’s the best one? You might have several ideas for developing your people. Which one would have the most impact on their futures?
I can’t tell you what’s most important in your particular situation, but whatever that is, you need to find it and focus on it. If you aren’t sure, ask yourself what’s the most important thing to accomplish over the next 3 years. Be more profitable? Grow sales? Expand to new markets? Redefine your customer service? I could keep listing things because the possibilities are endless. And that’s the point.
You cannot do everything at once and expect to do anything well. You have to decide what’s most critical and then apply all the energy you can to that thing. Over time that thing may change, and certainly you need to stay agile. But you have to zero in on what matters and do everything you can to eliminate the rest of the noise. In 2019, make focus your focus.
You cannot put more stuff into an already full vessel! To take on new things you need to make space. If you keep in mind the Pareto rule, only 20% of what you are currently doing is creating 80% of the benefit you are to those around you. Once you work out what is in the 20%, everything else is in the 80% and you can start removing the least valuable activities (and people) to create the space you need for more creativity and efficiency. Great blog Matt!