In a recent leadership retreat, I shared with the team the pressure, frustration and challenge I felt with the dichotomy of achieving short-term results while simultaneously building culture and the company for the long term.
I used a traditional sports analogy. I had mentioned a few successful, culture-based, sports programs run by purpose driven and people-first leaders. Leaders such as; Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, Coach K at Duke, or Dabo Swinney at Clemson. I then asked the team if they thought any of those coaches would have been able to build their culture if their team was only winning one-third of their games each season – “the short-term”?
Our EOS meeting facilitator, Steve Smolinsky, and author of the fabulous Benari blog, leaned back and responded to my comments with,
“You know Ron, I find that people who do not achieve their long term goals are usually bad at choosing and setting their short-term goals.”
Damn you Steve!
With a simple statement, my friend had clarified an issue with which I had struggled for quite some time. My short-term goals had lost direction. I let the day-to-day demands of the business and the tyranny of the urgent take over a disproportionate amount of my time. I was spending too much of my time on the urgent which reduced time for the important.
This energy was not in alignment with the achievement of our long-term objectives. As soon as the words left Steve’s mouth, I knew they were profound, and I also knew he was right.
Do you sometimes feel you are working extremely hard? Perhaps accomplishing much in the short-term, but not making a dent in your long-term vision? Then please heed Steve’s advice and examine your short-term goals. Reassess your day-to-day work and energy. The systems you improve and focus on today will energize and produce tomorrow’s results.
Thank you, Steve.