The Most Important Thing

priority important main thing

Facebook contributors completed the sentence, “The most important thing leaders do is _______.” The first 10 responses were:

  1. Listen.
  2. Give feedback.
  3. Empower.
  4. Communicate vision.
  5. Inspire.
  6. Enable others…
  7. Learn.
  8. Lead!
  9. Keep hope alive.
  10. Pray.

Read the entire list on Facebook.

The answer:

I didn’t have an answer when I asked. Now I believe there is no single answer. The most important thing is situational.

The most important thing leaders do is
the most important thing.

Successful leaders do what’s important. Sometimes it’s listening. Other times, it’s giving feedback.


Clear the clutter. Find what’s important by stopping what’s not.

If you’re afraid to stop, postpone. Postponing insignificant activities is enough. If you’ve misjudged their importance, they’ll be back.


Delete items on your to-do list after carrying them forward a week. They seem important but they aren’t. If they were, you would have done them. Put them on a wish list.


What’s important now?

  1. Activities that produce results. Commit to action.
  2. Everything that feels urgent isn’t important. The next time someone approaches with panic in their eye, ask if it can wait until this afternoon. By the afternoon, see if it’s solved.
  3. Small wins. A small win in the hand is better than two big wins in the bush. Big wins emerge from a series of small wins.

Before starting something new, ask, “Is this important?” Keep asking as you go.

Avoid stagnation:

Don’t fret over finding the most important thing. Just do what’s important now.

Why are unimportant things getting done while important ones aren’t?

How do you determine what’s important?

 last chance