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?