Does Your Business Have Too Many A-1 Priorities? Be a Leader – Stop the Insanity!

PrioritiesIt’s the beginning of a new year and many people are setting big exciting goals for 2016. Businesses do the same and both as leaders and individuals we have to be wary of overwhelm – trying to do too much with multiple and sometimes competing opportunities with finite resources. It’s great to be able to envision new ways to grow your company and to dream big. To set a vision that energizes and excites you as it pulls you forward to success is a wonderful thing, but, you’ve got to watch your focus!

It’s easy to see the problem with too many A-1 priorities, right?

Companies can start with a simple goal of increasing revenue. This leads to a brainstorming of ideas, a creative process that can yield numerous new and exciting directions. Except when all the new unfiltered ideas become initiatives and then priorities. Departments compete for the same resources and managers end up chasing the next bright shiny object. Everything seems important.

Guess what? If you have over five A-1 priorities, then nothing is important.

This is a failure of leadership, plain and simple.

Do you remember that fitness expert from the 90’s who used to rail against the diet industry by yelling “Stop the Insanity”?

That’s your mission as well. Your job as a leader is to step up, establish the right priorities, and stop the insanity.

Set three to five priorities and put all the energy and focus on those. The rest will have to wait; a leader has to be strong enough to let those fires burn!

How to winnow down the list? The key is to find the opportunities that are best for your company’s strategy, in alignment with your vision, achievable with your team, and build on the organization’s existing strengths.

Reducing a list of priorities sometimes means saying “no” to opportunities that are exciting and potentially profitable. But that’s the job of a leader, choosing and working on what’s important. Leaders help the organization focus on the right thing.

So, take some time early in this new year to connect with that fire in your heart that calls you to lead, to make a difference in the lives of your family, your employees, your community. Then commit to taking it one day at a time, one action at a time. Remember, the sky’s the limit, but you can’t boil the ocean!