Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 10/23/2023
A priority is something that is determined to be more important than other issues or things. Hence the statement: “If everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.”
But in these times of volatility and speed, can you really set priorities? Or do you just duck and weave around what’s flying at you, put out the worst conflagrations, and hope to live another day? Well, that’s a surrender of power and control, and just a bit more unappealing than a kale salad
I’d like to suggest this Monday morning (my time) that some things can clearly wait, and others can’t. Following up on a referral and high-potential lead can’t wait. Recording a podcast can. Talking to your kids about a tough homework assignment can’t wait. Practicing playing a diminished fifth chord on your guitar can wait.
You can always order “off the menu” but the special is just for tonight. We can wait for the weather to get better and fret about it in the meantime, or just have a good time now. I’ve had many fewer errors and much less unhappiness acting quickly and making adjustments if I had to, than in waiting for better and better conditions and missing an opportunity.
I don’t help my coaching clients to be second or third in their (or new) markets, but rather to be first. You have to be confident that you can correct errors and adjust, but I’d rather do that than sit back and see what the front-runners are doing. You know those bromides from the Successories catalogs? They’re something like this: “If you’re all the way at the back of the pack at least you can see everyone in front of you.”
That ain’t for me.
Maria and I were married at 22 (she is my proofreader and has reminded me she was 21). We couldn’t wait! But we decided to wait to have kids for five years. Those were two very good decisions. We became empty-nesters in our 40s and have traveled the world, engaged in philanthropy, and provided for our families. And today we’re blessed with our fourth grandchild—on the way!
Today often seems to me to be an antipodean world. We rush to deal with what’s immediately in front of us, often ignoring the more important things behind and around it. Maybe that’s why there’s a new occupation called “influencers.”
I’d advise you not to be so readily “influenced.”
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities. —Stephen Covey
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. ―Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Wear the old coat and buy the new book. ―Austin Phelps
If you’re wondering if it’s a priority, stop doing it and see if Chicken Little was right. —Alan Weiss