In The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker talks about leadership as doing the right things and management is doing things right.
In a lot of my client work, I spend a great deal of time dealing with making sure that my clients are measuring the right things.
It is often easy to create lists and measures that are good ideas, good decisions, things that will show you are moving in a positive direction…but, they aren’t the right things.
So how do you identify the right things to do?
First, they should directly impact your long-term strategy:
It is pretty easy to get caught in the trap of doing whatever it is that everyone thinks you should be doing.
There’s a bit of conventional wisdom that floats through so much of our business thinking that it can become difficult to push back on it.
But the first decision you need to make when setting a course for your business is that your actions need to be consistent with your long-term strategy.
Second, have a process in place to get rid of things when they no longer fit your business:
Practicing abandonment is an essential skill that most businesses need to think about more.
To make sure you get the right things done, you need to spend effort focusing on whether or not the things you are doing are still the right things for your business and getting rid of the ones that no longer fit.
Third, make sure you focus on the things that will make the biggest difference for your organization:
We can become trapped by the idea that we want to do everything, but that’s often a recipe for disaster.
In trying to make sure that you do the right things and create the biggest impact, you need to make sure you are doing the things that only you and your organization can do best.
Do what you do well, and delegate the rest.