When everything is a priority is anything a priority?

Speaking the language of Gallup’s CliftonStrengths, I lead with my dynamic duo of ideation and belief. This means that when I’m presented with the opportunity to connect the dots in a new and creative way on something I’m passionate about, it’s not uncommon to drop everything in pursuit of that new idea.

I’ve learned the hard way what I’m sure you’re already well aware of…

You can’t do everything (at least not well).

It seems counterintuitive that the path to better is less when most of our career we are rewarded (and even promoted) because of our ability to do more. As a leader, that pursuit of more is a dangerously alluring way to prove your worth.

Don’t mistake this for putting in less effort. It’s about investing that effort with the right focus. The light from a lamp might illuminate a room but the light from a laser can cut through steel, that’s the power of focus.

Focus is as much about what you’re removing as it is about what you’re choosing

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According to Chris McChesney in ‘The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Achieving your wildly important goals’:

Attempting to spread limited capacity across multiple goals is the most common cause for failure in execution. Basically, the more you try to do, the less you actually accomplish.

If you’re not clear on what matters most it’s easy to get caught up in what matters now. Focusing on less will ultimately help you and your team to achieve more.

A question to reflect on:
“If I could just choose 2-3 areas to focus on right now, what would they be?”