« Managing Yourself | Main | Purge The Victims and Villains Syndrome »

Comments

Eric D. Brown

Great stuff Steve.

Reminds me of the quote "If everything is a priority, nothing is". I can't recall who said it, wrote it or where I saw it...but it's perfect.

You can't have more than 1 "top" priority...otherwise its not at the top of the pyramid of tasks. Anyone who thinks you have more than 1 'top' priority is fooling themselves.

This is the problem I have with 'doing more with less'. You can't keep that going for long...doing more with less means that you've t removed staff/budget but kept the priorities the same. Doesn't work long term.

Steve Roesler

Eric,

Now you've got me going. That whole "Do more with less" mantra has to actually defy some law of physics. It's kind of like "Ready, Fire, Aim". Catchy, but it never worked well in the Army when we were trying to do more with less ammunition.

The quote you cite is true. Without drawing a line in the sand, it's impossible to know whether you are "in" or "out".

Thanks for weighing in on this.

Dan Erwin

I'd be curious to know whether that CEO's response worked. However, when execs are having difficulty prioritizing and want the CEOs help, I suggest that the exec take a further step, such as this: I have eight priority projects. (Enumerate them, perhaps a half sheet list.) I've decided that #3, 5, and 7 are the most urgent. What do you think?"

I suspect that with a CEO like the above, that might not work either. But my approach means that the exec take still further responsibility. Fact of the matter, I recommend that execs take absolutely every responsibility and move on it. It factors out on occasion as the distinction between asking forgiveness and asking permission. If a professional has a track record of success, I think asking permission is largely a waste of time--maybe even unprofessional. I'm curious, Steve, how you look at that?

Steve Roesler

Dan,

With the CEO above it wouldn't and didn't work. He did a number of things very, very well, was trusted, and simply had that blind spot that "did not compute." But it made people a little nuts. Could have been better but it could have been worse.

As for asking permission, I hope I'm interpreting your question correctly. I don't see going to one's boss and saying "Where are the priorities today on these dozen initiatives? I want to focus our people on the right things as our strategy unfolds."

A lot of the best managers I've worked with actually have that conversation very, very regularly but phrase it differently each time. The goal is the same: What's most important today, this week?

Ann Bares

Great post, Steve - also highlights a related danger that we run into with reward plan design. Trying to focus people on too many things means you miss the opportunity to focus them on something critical. And, yes, that means tough choices.

For bringing out an issue that is key to our field as well as "all (other) things workplace", we've chosen this post for our Friday Special at the Compensation Cafe...

http://compforce.typepad.com/compensation_cafe/2009/07/friday-special-at-the-cafe-3.html

Thanks!

Steve Roesler

Ann,

It's always a treat to find that a post has found meaning with a respected online colleague. Thank you for the affirmation.

Andrew Van Dellen

Steve -

Nice new insight on a classic theme: Keep is Simple Stupid. We've all been told that since grade school, yet it seems to get lost in the hustle of everyday lives. Thanks for the post Steve

Steve Roesler

You bet, Andrew.

Isn't it strange how we often don't do what we already know we're supposed to do?

I once saw a guy make a presentation with a "KISS" slide sandwiched in between 50 or 60 others. Sort of makes you go, "Hmmmm....?"

valtrex online

I like this comment: "As for asking permission, I hope I'm interpreting your question correctly. I don't see going to one's boss and saying "Where are the priorities today on these dozen initiatives? I want to focus our people on the right things as our strategy unfolds..."

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Steve Roesler, Principal & Founder
The Steve Roesler Group
Office: 609.654.7376
Mobile: 856.275.4002

Enter your name and email address to receive your copy of my coaching eGuide.

Name:
Email:
Human Resources Today
Business Blogs

Name:
Email:

Profiles

  • View Steve Roesler's profile on LinkedIn
Personal Growth from SelfGrowth.com
Archives

Get Updates via RSS Feed


  • Enter your email address in the yellow box for FREE daily updates


    Powered by FeedBlitz

Awards & Recognition...

  • Career 100
Alltop, all the top stories