A Leader Without Priorities is a Chipmunk on Steroids
A chipmunk on steroids is always hungry. He drops the nut in his paws to grab the imploring nut that just plunked beside him.
Trivialities mesmerize in organizations that lack priorities.
5 truths for chipmunk-leaders on steroids:
#1. You don’t know what matters most.
Leaders who chase every nut that falls can’t decide what matters. Leaders without priorities end up chasing the next thing because they haven’t established priorities.
What matters most?
#2. Team members avoid you.
Chasing new nuts drives teams crazy when their arms are already full.
#3. Starting is more fun for you than finishing.
You drive Doers crazy.
What can you finish today?
#4. Frustration is your companion.
Chipmunks feel frustrated that others aren’t captivated with every new nut. “What’s wrong with them?”
Actually, nothing is wrong with them. They want to finish something!
Frustration worms into every situation when urgencies replace priorities.
#5. Trivialities dominate your time.
It’s too late to set priorities once nuts start falling.
The only way to get priorities on your calendar is to get them on early.
The law of the calendar: Calendars fill with trivialities when you don’t schedule priorities.
Successful leaders know how to say, “That’s not important right now.” When everything is a priority, nothing is important.
How might leaders establish priorities?
How might leaders establish priorities?
Is the problem “establishing priorities” or staying focused on them?
I think it helps to make your priorities visible. Post them on the office wall or on a flip chart so you can see every time you enter your office.
But…But…chipmunks are so cute, everyone loves them…don’t they?!?!?! 🤦♀️YIKES, this one hit a little too close to home – although I’m not on ‘steroids’ yet, I am absolutely in a constant struggle to prioritize everything coming at me! I LOVE the statement “That’s not important right now.” and will be adding that to my mental repertoire to use moving forward! Thank you Dan for always being so on point and being willing to share “the tough stuff”.
As often it depends on what type of Business you are in?
Priorities are often controlled by the type of situations that develop, we need a new heart a bit more complex than we need a bicycle pump. I have used priorities based on circumstances that dictates how we handle the issue and when we handle the issue.
The key is to focus on anything your putting our attention to.
Interesting column that brings two thoughts.
My son in second grade was very frustrated because of so much busy work. He took pride in doing his school work well, but the teacher was constantly stopping them after a short period of working on one project to assign them the next project.
It’s frustrating when a leader is attracted to shiny objects (another nut dropping around them) and ignores the warts. Weeks later after a decision is made, the warts are much more obvious and the once shiny object is shown to be quite trivial to them.
Tranquilised by the trivial – Kierkegaard.
Leaders can establish priorities by having open communication with their team. By having open communication with their team, team members will understand the most important issue(s) or task(s) is for the organization. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. If a leader does not have open communication with the team, then team members can become frustrated or not understand the importance of why a certain task is being categorized as a priority. We have had situations where a manager puts a task on us and states that it must be done by this time with no additional information. We do not have a good understanding of why it is such an important priority which can result in the task only being accomplished at the bare minimum. If the manager or leader would take a little time and explain how it is a milestone and the importance to the organization then that task would have more effort put into it.