The law of priorities

Leaders Understand That Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment

(DAY 17 – The 21 Day Leadership Challenge)

Leaders are busy. And some things are more important than other things. Put together a list of everything you have to do and prioritize it from most important to least.

Dig into it:

  • Leaders never advance to a point where they no long need to prioritize.
  • Busyness does not equal productivity. Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Prioritizing requires leaders to continually think ahead, to know what’s important, to see how everything relates to the overall vision.
  • The Pareto Principle – if you focus your attention on the activities that rank in the top 20 percent in terms of importance, you have an 80 percent return on your effort. For example if you 100 customers, the top 20 will provide you 80% of your business, so focus on them.
  • The Three R’s – requirement, return and reward. Leaders must order their lives according to these three questions:

1. What is Required? Any list of priorities must begin with what is required of us. The question to ask yourself is, “What must I do that nobody can or should do for me?” If I’m doing something that is not necessary, I should eliminate it. If I’m doing something that’s necessary but not required of me personally, I need to delegate it.

2. What Gives the Greatest Return? As a leader, you should spend most of your time working in your areas of greatest strength. Ideally, leaders should get out of their comfort zone but stay in their strength zone. My rule of thumb: If something can be done 80 percent as well by someone else, I delegate it.

3. What Brings the Greatest Reward? Life is too short not to do the things you love. Your personal interests energize you and keep you passionate. And passion provides the fuel in your life to keep you going.

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