“If you’re not clear on what matters most, it’s easy to get caught up in what matters now.”
– Shane M. Hatton
In my work with boards and leadership teams, I see leaders grappling with the challenge of competing priorities on a weekly basis.
Here are some examples of important things in business that don’t seem urgent… until they do…
- A commitment to Leadership Development… until your Strategy fails or your leadership becomes toxic.
- Building a clear, aligned Culture… until your stakeholders get a different experience than what your Brand has promised.
- Fostering Team Belonging & pride in the organisation… until you lose your best staff and other great talent look elsewhere.
Being clear on what matters most allows you to keep an eye on tomorrow, to see the bigger picture, to see how everything connects together… and to see the next important step.
“Being clear on what matters most allows you to keep an eye on tomorrow, to see the bigger picture, to see how everything connects together… and to see the next important step.”
As we move through challenging economic times and yet more change… there are lots of things that seem urgent… but what’s MOST IMPORTANT to get right now, for a sustainably successful future?
For a successful future… ask the ‘most straightforward question possible’:
I recently read about a conference where the keynote speaker was praised for “asking the most straightforward question possible”. A clear, simple question can cut through the noise, get to the heart of the matter, and point to the pathway forward.
What’s your ‘most straightforward question possible’? It could be…
- What’s the biggest challenge right now? / What’s the biggest opportunity right now?
- What’s the biggest risk around the corner?
- If we focused on one thing for the next 3/6/12 months, what is the one thing that will most move the needle?
But don’t keep it at high-perch level – follow this with:
- What are the steps?
- Who needs to be involved?
- What do they need to get the job done?
- What does doing a great job look like?
- How will we know we’ve succeeded?
When it comes to people-related business challenges (which you could argue, are all business challenges), the solution can seem complex and unclear. Having conversations that start with the idea that “We always strive to see what matters most” can lead you to these types of questions… and their answers.