Posts Tagged ‘priorities’

Whose fire is it anyway?

Friday, November 28th, 2008

We hear an awful lot of talk about executives who are so busy rushing around fire-fighting, and I have one client whose genius (and even joy) is their ability to deal with these spontaneous combustions.  The thing is, if your time is fully occupies extinguishing fires, then there is little or no time for reflection, planning or real leadership. 

However, if the fires that occupy all your time are all created by others, and all you do is put them out, then what are they learning?  Do they see and feel the consequences of their mistake, do they build their skill at dealing with fires?  Sometimes before you reach for the wellies, fire-hose and helmet, ask “Whose fire is it anyway?”  Follow that up with :-

  • “What is the worst that could happen?”
  • “Is this the best use of my time?”
  • “What are the alternative?” 

“Fire is never a gentle master”

“Among the notable things about fire is that it also requires oxygen to burn – exactly like its enemy, life.”  Otto Weininger

What Mumbai teaches us

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

PODCAST [click to listen] – What we can learn from the attacks on Mumbai

Yesterday, in Mumbai, hundreds of people who were quietly living their lives found their world turned upside down when Islamic extremists attacked the city in up to  17 coordinated incidents.  As many as 100 people are dead and hundreds were involved.  Hotels were burnt, people were terrorised.  For some this was a blow for freedom, but for so many others their world is no longer as safe or as predictable.  They will marked for life by their experiences.

As human beings, we need to know that if we do X that Y is the likely consequence.  If external agencies intervene and introduce a random chaos factor, how are we to gauge what is safe, and what is not?  We invest our time and money in things that seem sensible and safe, but if this equation is disrupted, how are we to choose?

Change sometimes is forced on us by outside agencies and we are forced to reevaluate.  I wonder if they could wind the clock back 24 hours what choices those who were involved might have made differently had they known?  Would different things have seemed important to them?  We are sitting safely at home saying “Dreadful!”  We still have a real choice about what is really important to us….

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”  Stephen R. Covey

“Success is only another form of failure if we forget what our priorities should be.”   Harry Lloyd

Auto Erotic

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Today my son is out in the drive, washing his new car. By new of course I don’t mean ‘new’, I mean new to him. He is loving his new pride-and-joy. I still remember fondly my first car, as I suspect we all do, and that heady period when we lavished it with time, care and goodies. I spent hours fitting a tape deck in my Hillman Imp, in which even the heater was regarded as an ‘extra’.

The thing is we spend time, care and resources on those things that matter to us. Conversely people can observe where and with whom we spend our time and energy and deduce what is important to us and where they sit in the pecking order.

Make sure that today you are attending to those things and those people who are truly important to you and don’t let yourself get distracted by all the ‘noise’. For each day that you manage to pull off this trick, you will bring your inner and outer worlds closer into alignment.

“Good things happen when you pay attention.” John F Smith
“When you make a commitment to a relationship, you invest your attention and energy in it more profoundly because you now experience ownership of that relationship.” Barbara de Angelis