…and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen R. Covey
Today’s quote has been attributed to American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker Stephen Richards Covey. I found it to be very timely; last week I began both my first significant builder role and first role reporting to a senior executive.
Right now I have a lot of projects to work on. And the scope of my bosses role places significant demands on his time, meaning that for the first time in my career I’m not a phone call or 60 second walk from a sit-down conversation to go over action items. This lack of quick/easy access means that I have to be much more self-directed in my work, and much more deliberate in my preparation. Ergo, I have to make time with my manager count much more than it did before and exercise significantly more discretion around prioritizing what is important.
This is a little scary because while I have always been very good at accomplishing objectives, I have seldom been called on to define those objectives. I am resourceful, a strong networker, and a very functional communicator. These traits have served me well in improver roles, where I’ve been tasked with first and foremost keeping processes humming and along and secondarily making things better than they were before. Conversely, I will now have to develop new capabilities in order to become an effective project manager. This has required me to think about what I need to do to expand my capabilities, shoring up weaknesses in a way that I haven’t been asked to in a very long time. I will work through it, but things will be a little rocky at the beginning…
…So as we get started this week, I want to encourage you to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself if you are focused on what is urgent or what is important. The difference between the two is the difference between accomplishing what anyone qualified would accomplish in your role versus making a truly significant impact.
As always (and especially this week), please share your thoughts in the comments section below.