Imagine your worst-case scenario… you just lost your largest client; a star performer quits the staff and heads for a competitor; you were just about to close that large sale and the buyer goes with another supplier; or your product or service is quickly becoming obsolete. What do you do?
The answer is simple: Don’t wait until you find yourself in that situation.
In his book, First Things First, Stephen Covey suggests that the art of time management should no longer focus on the clock, but, instead, on the compass. He eschews daily To Do lists for a broader look at what is happening in our businesses and personal lives. He admits the clock will help us jam all sorts of activities into the day, but by following a compass, we will look at the direction in which our life or business is moving.
Covey asks a couple very focused questions:
“What is the one activity that you know if you did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in your personal life?
“What is the one activity that you know if you did superbly well and consistently would have significant positive results in your professional or work life?
He then goes on to admonish: “If you know these things would make such a significant difference, why are you not doing them now?”
Covey asks the reader to look at the driving factors of how we make choices. They usually fall into two categories — urgent or important.
Losing a large client or a star performer can certainly create a sense of urgency in our businesses. But if we have been managing our business from the viewpoint of regularly doing the things that are important, we will naturally be building good customer relations; having a defined, repeatable new business plan; staffing and training employees to manage work-flow changes; and making sure our product and service offerings are current with the needs of the marketplace. Then, we will be much-less affected when an apparent tragedy strikes.
So answer the question for yourself — What’s the one thing I could be doing that would significantly impact my business with positive results? You already know the answer. So why aren’t you doing it?