Fire, fire, fire, fire, aim. This is the modern management approach, getting things done, efficiency over effectiveness. This obsession with action is way overrated. As a leader having direction is more important than taking rapid action. Too often leaders lack the clarity as to why they’re doing and where they’re headed, resulting in teams taking action in an ad-hoc and random manner. This is the curse of too much doing and not enough thinking.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest path to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” – Sun Tzu
It’s difficult to keep focused on that which is strategically important. It’s easy to get lost in the daily tasks and not chart the course. To be effective requires that we manage our attention and focus. Effective leaders manage their attention and the attention of their teams, keeping them focused.
We are most effective when clear about where we need to go and can adjust our decisions and actions accordingly. Asking ourselves questions such as “What is the most important thing that needs to be done right now? This week? This month? This year?” can bring focus back to our work. It can help us break out from our need to take action because that’s what executed.
The reality is that we cannot be successful unless our actions are focused on that which matters most.
- Are you clear as to what’s the most important thing right now?