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Just Say No

Here is something that caught our eye this week:

A reminder to reset our priorities

At a Chenmark offsite event last year, one of the speakers noted that “management is about maintenance while leadership is about making things better.”

Unfortunately, one of the byproducts of managing through a crisis, or even a busy part of the season, is that forward visibility gets reduced and schedules get monopolized by urgent and important tasks.  Put simply, it’s difficult to allocate a lot of time towards moving the business forward if you have to spend most of your available hours making sure everyone is healthy and able to show up for work, and that an ever-changing mix of federal, state, and local guidelines are being followed.  There is nothing wrong with this activity given the environment, but we certainly feel like much of the last several months have been spent in maintenance mode.

However, as economies begin to reopen and we get through the early season rush, we are eager to recommit to making things better and think focus and prioritization will be a crucial component of that effort.

There will always be important and urgent things that need doing.  There is also a fairly lengthy list of potential initiatives that all seem like good ideas.  But good ideas left at the theory stage don’t really help much.  If the list of things we are “working on” is too long, we risk leaving them all at various states of incompletion and not moving anything forward in a tangible sense.  As Steve Jobs noted:  “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

To help us say “no” more effectively, this week the Chenmark team worked through a goal setting exercise aimed at establishing 3-5 key initiatives for each individual, and for Chenmark overall, to accomplish in the next 90 days.  This is a fairly new endeavor for us but we are eager to refocus on priorities despite the day-to-day distractions. Here’s to making things better in the months to come.

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

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