The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Over-committed leaders may be remarkable for a while, then they aren’t.
Over-commitment dilutes and destroys.
Cracks and work:
Things are falling through the cracks. I love hard work. I don’t want to work less. I want to matter more. I need to work hard at fewer things.
Busy and hard work are two different things.
I don’t hear complaints about working too hard. I hear complaints about being too busy.
Hard work is what life is all about.
People who don’t need to work, work because they want to matter. Life without hard work is meaningless.
5 principles of remarkable:
- Commit to do one thing exceptionally well. Those who can’t commit to being exceptional in one area, commit to being mediocre in all.
- Spend over 50% of your time doing your one thing. If you want to be an exceptional leader, spend most of your time practicing leadership, for example.
- Maintain fearless focus. You will never be remarkable until you focus your energy. If you’re spread too thin, you’re average at best.
- Fill your bucket with things that align with your focus. How does being a remarkable leader connect with being a mom or husband, for example.
- Eliminate time-wasters.
Take hold of your focus before someone else does.
7 steps toward remarkable:
- Work hard.
- Read, “One Word.”
- Complete this sentence: All I care about is _______.
- Start saying yes to things that align with “all you care about.”
- Set a goal of spending 70% of your time doing things you care about.
- Govern your schedule by what you care about.
- Evaluate results by what you care about.
Remarkable is intentional, not accidental.
What keeps leaders from being remarkable?
How can leaders move toward remarkable?
Resource: “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” by Greg McKeown.
I have been reading your blog for a few years. Thank you for your insight, it is a daily read for me and I apply it to my role in leading teams. I appreciate your practical wisdom and insight.
Thanks Tome. Energy is fueled when work is appreciated. 🙂
I wholly agree. This is a great post that made me do such soul searching and introspection that yielded brutal honesty so I had to take awhile before commenting. Truly insightful. Thanks for making me see my own strengths…..and flaws! 🙂
One should undertake all that he has the capacity,ability and endurance to accomplish rather making commitment beyond. Going further and overcommitment is not desired as it would loss of time and effort at cost to the company.
Thanks Abdur. I’m sad when the idea of saying “no” turns into an excuse to reach below our potential.
Have you read “Resonant Leadership”? The first half of today’s blog almost reads like an expert from the first chapter. It starts with how leaders that work too “busy” create an emotional stress in their teams that result in an anti-resonance. Meaning they disrupt teams and take away more from their team “synergy” than they give to it.
Thanks James. I haven’t read Resonant Leadership, yet. I had one of those bosses you mention. The emotional stress is real and lack of synergy are real issues.
Spot on with this one: “I don’t want to work less. I want to matter more.”
We should all want to leave a legacy. I do not think that many of us think about this when young and sparkly, but as the end of one’s productive time gets nearer, I think it represents a reality. I am looking to leave some footprints. We should all make that effort, I think, in whatever ways we choose.
Thanks Dr. Scott. “Sparkly” 🙂 .. .you get today’s prize for creative verbiage.
Great points, Dan. I often need to remind myself of that “urgent” is not the same as “important” so I can stay focused on what I really care about.
Thanks Jesse. It’s odd that life constantly pulls us away from focus, simplicity, and clarity. I think we all need these reminders.
I like that Dan, spending 50 % of your time and devote that time to that one thing that is truly significant to you.
I believe synergy between people and in teams is what demonstrates that a leader is becoming remarkable. Cooperation…aligning the team and yourself with each other,
Thanks Dennis. I can see where synergy is a good measure of leadership success. How well are we creating environments where people connect and work together.
Dan, I just started following you yesterday and am enjoying your posts. I appreciated you taking the time to call and thank me for joining – a classy move that models great leadership.
Thanks Dr. Harpe. I don’t get to welcome every new subscriber. But, I’m glad I spent some time yesterday contacting a few and that you were one of them. It’s a privilege to welcome people who are working to make a difference. Cheers.
This one thing I do. Old but good advice to get something done with excellence.
Thanks Ron! Forgetting what is behind and pressing forward.
Yep, looks like you and I might being following the same leadership manual
This is another winner. Leaders are action-oriented, so we typically hate to say “No” to anything. But to be as could as we should be means that we have to say no to many good things to focus on those things that are most aligned with our strengths and purpose. This is also why it is so important for leaders to have strong teams that have strengths that compliment their own.
Love this and you know how much I need this reminder since I’m reading this post at midnight!
Good leaders have a vision. Along with that vision, there are many tasks that are needed to fulfill that vision. It is important that they help the team identify the priorities of meeting these tasks. The team needs to know exactly where to focus their time otherwise they are just spinning like a gerbil on a treadmill trying to get ANYTHING checked off the list.
The words of Larry Page came into my head:
“We will not shy away from high-risk, high-reward projects because of short term earnings pressure. Some of our past bets have gone extraordinarily well, and others have not. Because we recognize the pursuit of such projects as the key to our long term success, we will continue to seek them out. For example, we would fund projects that have a 10% chance of earning a billion dollars over the long term. Do not be surprised if we place smaller bets in areas that seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses. Although we cannot quantify the specific level of risk we will undertake, as the ratio of reward to risk increases, we will accept projects further outside our current businesses, especially when the initial investment is small relative to the level of investment in our current businesses”
Thank you for your hard work, this blog is awesome, it is must read for me.
I recently heard “Vagueness is weakness; clarity is power!” and couldn’t agree more.