Get Prepared or Get Started?
Strong cases can be made for both positions: preparation is the key to effective and efficient action; acting now is better than acting later. I cannot say which approach will work best for your specific situation and skill set, but I can tell you that the soldiers who charge the hill first are the ones who receive promotions and medals. Preparation and action can both lead to success, but those who act swiftly will be rewarded.
Set the Course and Let the Captain Sail the Ship
Senior leaders plan the direction of a company. How financing will be obtained, what products and services will be sold and what marketing campaigns will be launched. Once the course is charted it is important to allow middle managers to execute and lead their teams. Decentralized management is paramount to expanding organizations. Find the right people and empower them to succeed.
Assess Damage from Ground Zero
When critical challenges arise, inspecting the damage first hand will provide greater clarity and remove the risk of losing important details as information moves through the chain the of command. This is the fastest and most effective path to creating a solution and assessing future risk, and also why we see Presidents and Governors visiting disaster zones.
Michael Jordan used to spend each of his summers adding one new element to his game. Kobe Bryant has followed a similar path. One year adding a post game, another adding a turn-around jumper, another becoming an elite defender. The results speak for themselves, but the trick was finding one element to master. By focusing exclusively on one area at a time – like the turn-around J – MJ and Kobe were both able to successfully add new dimensions to their skill sets and remain elite for long periods of time. Focus on a product or a niche that you can own. Master that domain before attacking the next.
Originally Posted on September 3, 2013 by John Scranton