Sunday, October 23, 2011

The wrong thing

We are in a constant battle of priorities.  Some are internally driven, others are external.  Some are personal while others are professional.  To make matters worse, our priorities are in a constant flux because our situations are always changing.  It gets to a point where everything becomes a moving target and we feel that we're accomplishing nothing.

There is a simple cure to this dilemma - choose to do the right thing.  Sound too simple?  Let's put it into perspective:

Most organizations never ask the right question when prioritizing business initiatives and projects.  They do business cases, risk analyses, cost-benefit analyses, etc. in order to justify their decisions, but they rarely ask, "what will happen if we don't do this?"  This question is the key to doing the right thing.  In most cases, the answer is "nothing will happen."  By not asking this simple question, organizations, and people, fall into the trap of doing too much of the wrong thing - which leads to being overwhelmed with valueless activities and undue consumption of resources.

This logic can be applied to many contexts.  For example, I have a very simple strategy for branding that follows this logic.  When establishing a brand, the best way to get to the crux of the meaning of the brand, the "why" behind the brand, is to define the absence of the brand.  What would the world be like without Coca-Cola?  

This one question - "what will happen if we (or I) don't do this" - can be applied to every facet of life, personal and professional.  If your answer isn't significantly more compelling than "nothing", you probably shouldn't be doing it.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Honor Steve Jobs by honoring yourself

Steve Jobs will leave a big hole, that's the measure of a man.  Inevitably, many people will look to Steve Jobs' life as an inspiration for their own; however, Steve Jobs would be the first to tell you that you'd be making a mistake.  He would tell you that you can't change the world by emulating him, but you can change the world by being the best version of yourself, that the pursuit of your dreams and passions can change the world.

Steve Jobs pursued his dreams and passions and we should applaud him for a job well done.  Now, it's time for you to get moving...!  Honor Steve Jobs by honoring yourself.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An extreme bias for action

The best advice for anyone, regardless of endeavor, is to have an extreme bias for action.  Get in the habit of doing, not documenting or planning, but doing.  Planning and documentation are necessary, but in the appropriate doses.  

The best performing organizations are always moving, always doing, stasis is abhorrent.  The best performing individuals are in motion, always looking to improve, to be a better version of themselves tomorrow.

Thanks to Dennisse Lisseth at Being Exceptional In An Ordinary World for the image.