The Question to Answer in 2016

It’s tragic when leaders piss away their energy and talent on things that don’t matter. If at the end of the day, you wonder what you did, it didn’t matter.

The question to answer in a pressure-packed world is, “What matters now?”

Identify what matters now, if you hope to make a difference.

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The things that matter now are at the intersection of untapped talent, current opportunity, and vitality.

Untapped talent: How might you express your talent in new ways?

Stagnation isn’t lack of effort. It’s safe repetition.

  1. Test yourself. Stop drifting. Success – that eliminates exploration – is failure in disguise.
  2. Extend yourself beyond current activities or relationships.
  3. Try something new where failure doesn’t feel fatal.
  4. Help teammates find untapped talent by giving them a safety net.

Current opportunity: What could you do now?

An opportunity is the chance to add value before receiving it.

  1. Keep one eye on future opportunity, but two on current. The enemy of big impact is despising small possibilities.
  2. Do it for free. If people aren’t paying you to coach, for example, do it for free. Coach your spouse, children, or distant relatives.
  3. Listen to frustration. How might you solve your own frustrations? Behind anger is opportunity.
  4. Solve your own struggles and share what you learn. Suppose you’re struggling to lead change in your organization:
    • Adopt new strategies.
    • Include outsiders.
    • Learn and share, even if it’s what didn’t work.

Greater impact is the result of doing what matters now.

Don’t worry about being great. Worry about serving now.

Vitality: What makes you feel alive?

  1. Risk disappointment.
  2. Reflect on your energy levels.
  3. Do less of what makes you feel dead.
  4. Develop relationships that give you energy.

Make a difference by tapping untapped talent, seizing current opportunity, and following vitality.

What prevents people from doing what matters now?

How might leaders do what matters now?

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