Vital Few vs. Trivial Many?
17 February 2017

Vital Few vs. Trivial Many?

I recently had a discussion with a CEO and he said he was so busy he didn’t have time to take a vacation much less plan for the future. He lamented that juggling so many balls was stressful and he was remaining just one step from disaster!

He elaborated, and said he daily crosses things off his list, but the list keeps growing.

The ironic Lee Iacocca is reported to have responded to a senior executive who complained about being so busy he couldn’t take a vacation with his family….  Perhaps, I should be looking for a new VP if you can’t even manage a vacation.

The inference is very clear; planning, prioritization, and delegation are components of success.

 I’m too busy doing important “stuff” is all too frequently the excuse for not achieving critical strategic issues.

All of us are busy. Doing what becomes the important question. Are we really cognizant of sorting out the vital few from the trivial many?

Has your well-thought-out business plan (assuming you have one) been relegated to the top desk drawer accumulating dust and it’s only February?

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

  •       Where are you against your plan regarding critical activities that must be completed?
  •       Checking stuff off your list may feel good, but are they the right things?
  •       What am I doing vs. what I should be doing?
  •       Am I putting out the same fires daily vs. working on systemic solutions?
  •       Am I developing relationships with employees, vendors, and customers focused on the vital few business issues?

Taking an inventory of your personal time management may provide you with a perspective to address the vital few critical business issues and stay on track.

It’s not how hard you work, but rather where you spend your precious time that’s the real differentiator. 



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