Like many of you I returned from holiday revitalised, full of energy and enthusiastic about the year ahead. However on my first day back I managed to find myself on the back foot, as I headed into a busy schedule with no time to draw breath between meetings.
This feeling of taking on too much reminded me of an article I came across while on holiday that really struck a chord. It was called the ‘Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ by author *Greg McKeown
In the article Greg suggests that to be truly successful we should be pursuing less instead of more. We give more work to the successful person. At the same time we know that success often comes from being focussed! Now, I realise that being too busy to focus will resonate with many of you.
So how do we pursue less? Greg suggests we start saying NO – not just haphazardly saying no, but purposefully, deliberately and strategically eliminating the nonessentials.
A great example of this in action is Apple under former CEO, Steve Jobs. When Steve Jobs ran the company he took good divisions, stopped some of their products and transferred the best talent to the products that could be great. With that disciplined focus, Apple became the enormous success they are today.
Of course this is easier said then done, and it takes courage to turn down great opportunities in order to focus on the one or two that could be good. As Greg says few individuals and few organisations appear to have the courage to live this principle, which may be why it differentiates successful people and organisations from the very successful ones.
*Greg McKeown is the CEO of THIS Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency headquartered in Silicon Valley. He was recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Professor Jonathan Gray
Director, Ko Awatea