Ask someone how things are going and they may simply say, “Busy.” Do you have a busy strategy? Is your intent to do a lot of things, keep the engine turning, and get to the next milestone?
Strategy is not just a schematic on a cocktail napkin. It shouldn’t be about that finely tuned ten-page document that hasn’t been accessed in your digital folder in the past eight months.
While both of those things may matter a great deal, the best plan is only a plan without proper execution.
Your daily tactical approach to accomplishing work will condition what happens next and more importantly how soon. Being busy is typically considered to be a good sign. The thought is, “Yes, I’m busy, and that means I’m making things happen.”
Being busy reminds me of a metaphorical expression I once heard. Something like, “Busy is like a rocking chair, lots of movement but you really aren’t going anywhere.” A busy strategy has activity and motion, does it get you anywhere?
If you have a busy strategy you may be knocking things off the to-do list and that certainly may be an accomplishment. Do those things really matter? Your daily habits of do this, do that, and check the box, are they productive?
Most people would quickly agree we are living in a fast-paced, never slow down, World. A thriving service-oriented economy has service-oriented businesses popping up like weeds in grandpa’s vegetable garden.
Are you providing value? Are you leveraging your work?
One of the best questions to ask yourself when you are busy is, “Does this effort produce outcomes that can be leveraged to support the long-term plan?”
When the answer is, “Yes.” Then you should be considering how you are making that leverage a reality. Unused leverage doesn’t really have much value.
Building the spreadsheet, attending the meeting, or checking email may get something knocked off the to-do list but it also may be movement that isn’t getting you anywhere.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.