37. Too Many Priorities

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/37. Too Many Priorities

37. Too Many Priorities


The biggest mistake that I’ve seen from leadership is listing out a laundry list of their priorities.

How many actually get accomplished? Typically…. None!

Today we’ll go into some psychology being goal setting and how to best optimize our life by having a greater focus on fewer priorities.

And how’s there’s a particular magic number that’s been proven to give you the best chance of success.

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Hello, welcome to today's episode, it's Friday when this episode is coming out. So hope you're having a great NDR week, hope you got a lot done and are able to relax just a little bit. But if you're anything like me, like relaxing isn't something that we do easily. And you're probably working at least part of the weekend, I fully get it the whole Oh, you have to have this certain work life balance thing. Like that never worked for me. I don't know if that's like that for you at all. But I never fell into the five days of work, firm weekends thing that was never my bag. I like to work work is where I find my purpose work is where I have my priorities. I love to work. So if that's you just know, dude, you're not alone. Like it's okay. And you don't need to abide by their damn rules, you know, abide by your own rules. If you're feel like life is imbalanced for you, like brother, mark your own path. So that's just one thing I'll say about that infamous work life balance thing.

Anyway, so I was thinking today about that some some of my time in the military. And there's one particular time I had a we had a new commander coming in big general generals, generals, it's like the craziest rank in the history of ranks. But anyway, this general comes in. And he went, here's my priorities, you know, that deep gruff voice they'll have and he listed out 37 frickin priorities. And all this Wazoo shit that he was going to, quote unquote, accomplish during his time in command 37 priorities man, dude, that you know what, you know what happened with that 37 priorities is we would have weekly staff meetings, full staff had to be if you weren't in the room with them you had to be on wasn't Skype, I forget is a is a civet. So secure VTC. So you had to be on the VTC or you had to be in the room. And they would go line by line through each of his 37 priorities each week, and what the command was doing in pursuit of his 37 priorities. 37? Do I have to stress that more? What did we actually accomplish during that time of his command?

Not a whole lot. Not a whole lot. We made very little progress towards any of that ridiculous, insane, stupid lists of priorities. Because you actually can't have that many priorities. And this is not just me making it up and saying, Oh, I know this from experience. I do know from experience. But frickin science tells us this too. Like, there's a lot of people that spend, literally, that's their career, that's their life is to look at humans, and how we work within systems and structures. And what do we know about priorities is you can't have that many of them. I was doing a little bit of research just to back this all up. Because I knew this just from going through schooling and all the reading I've done in my past. But one particular website thought leader.com, what they say is, the obvious consequences at an individual level, include stress, feelings of overwhelm with the potential for burnout, all of these, all of these lead to potential issues with health well being and disengaged teams. That's what happens. That's what you're doing to your team when you have too many flippin priorities for them. That's what you're doing to your teams. So how many can we actually handle? There's a great book I highly recommend. It's called the four disciplines of execution. Now, in truth, like the first half of the book kind of describes the system. The second half is kind of a sales pitch. But because it is a system you can buy, but the first half is great. So I highly recommend reading it again, the four disciplines of execution by Covey.

And what they say is with two to three priorities, you'll likely achieve them all with excellence. With four to 10 priorities, you will likely achieve only one to two with excellence with 10 or more priorities, you will be unlikely to achieve any with any excellence. So think about that. Two to three priorities, achieving them all versus four to 10. Only achieving one to two. Oh, my goodness. What does that tell you? That magic spot is in the two to three priorities. That should be what you're doing. Forget that list of four to 10 And definitely take that list of 37 and blow it up, shoot it, whatever you got to do to get rid of that stupid damn list and focus on what's really important. In the four disciplines execution they talked about, it's called the wildly important goals. And, you know, I think they might have a military background, because I like acronyms. It's the wig. Well, how many wigs can you wear? We can't wear that many wigs. You can only have so many wigs that you wear. Ideally, you as the leader in the organization, you should have one wildly important goal that you are in charge of that you own that you are the baby, that's your baby. If you have one goal. And you're putting everything into that goal, how much more likely are you to exceed or to achieve that? Or even exceed expectations? If you have one priority in your life, think about a time when you had one priority. What did that feel like? What did that give to you in terms of direction, motivation, time, energy.

It's everything. When I started this company, I knew I had to leave my full time job. Because I can't concentrate on too many wigs. I have to give everything to whatever I'm working on. And I suspect a lot of you are just like me where we are a players. We don't know how to stop, we don't know how to fail. We only know how to achieve things with excellence. So why when it's you set yourself up to achieve everything with excellence. So ask yourself, like, get out a piece of paper and say, How many priorities are you putting on your team right now? Are you putting on yourself? What priorities do you actually have? There's always going to things you could do for sure. But what are your priorities now, and go ahead and number them, what's really going to move the needle forward, what's really going to make a difference. It's when I as a team leader was able to focus or team on only a handful of actual priorities, maybe three to four total across the organization. That's when we won, that's when we had our greatest moments of victory. That's when we moved forward. That's when we frickin conquered things. The next level that is distributing them, because you cannot own every priority. You are one person. You have a team, you have people around you, you need to delegate that. As an example. Like right now I have two priorities in life. That's it. Well, I have my family. But in work, I have two priorities, grow my podcast audience and grow my coaching program. That's it. Those are the only two app. If I get if an opportunity comes my way that doesn't contribute to one of those two, I have to punt it. Because I can't divert from those two priorities. There are shiny objects out there. Believe me, brother, I see them. I know what's out there. But everything I'm doing and everything I'm pursuing must contribute to one of those priorities.

That's the litmus test. There's no negotiation. When you're working with a team when you're working with people, giving them ownership over this, say, Hey, brother, we got this big goal for the company. You're in charge. Do you know how empowering it is? To give someone ownership of something? Remember back to the first time you're given ownership of of something and told this is your mission. This is what you do. Dude, there's so much fucking power in that. Of having that ownership. Having that agency, you are doing your team a service and propelling them for extreme success. When you empower them to be excellent. When you empower them to make decisions and to own the outcome. What sense of pride are you giving to your team, when they have the outcome? It's owned by them, they can take full credit for it and they achieve it. That's how you get true believers. That's to get people that will climb through the gates of hell for you. When you give them agency, you give them ownership and they're able to achieve it and move forward. People respond to positive pressure, they respond to ownership. Not always right away. Some people get a little nervous about it. It's your job to shepherd them through that. This is all good stuff. It's good pressure.

It's good intentions. How much can you motivate your team to all work together Are and work as individuals towards the wildly important goals and the priorities that are going to move your company forward. That's when you know you're really winning as an operator, that's when you know you have a team that are bonafide a player rockstars when you can assign priorities, and have your team with the support and structure to rock their jobs, if you can think of the highest level of contribution you can possibly make to your company. It's that it's finding ways to empower people to send them down their priorities, with the structure and support they need to fulfill them for sure they not gonna be able to do it on their own.

Giving them agency giving them ownership, giving them the victory. Some to think about for today, got a little deep on this one got a little bit excited, because it's something I'm so flippin passionate about. Because I know when I was given agency over things, the first time I was given it I rocked wasn't easy. It was hard. I think John F Kennedy said something about that we pursue this not because it did easy. It is easy, but because it is hard. Because it is hard. We go down these paths. That's the joy of running these businesses brother. Be in for it or don't. I think you're up for it though. If you're still here, Episode 37 of this show. You're up for it. You're up for it. Own it. Let's go.

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© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing

© Adam Liette Marketing