“I don’t have enough time in a day to work on the most important things!” I regularly hear CEOs complain. We all have a tendency to jump on the most urgent problems – because they are urgent and also because, let’s face it: we are addicted to fixing problems.
The issue is: when we focus on fighting fires we don’t work on what really helps move our business forward. A year quickly goes by and we realize that we have missed some of our goals. There is a key to break this vicious circle though.
“Who cares about our Core Purpose?” I thought when I joined my first company. “Isn’t a core purpose just a few vague nice-sounding words in an employee handbook?”
I couldn’t have been more wrong! As the company grew, growth pain points became more and more visible.
Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.
One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, “I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person.”