13th February 2014

Number One by Ian Kinnery

Here is a very simple and simply profound question for you. Do you and you your team know what your number one priority is for this quarter and for this year? Having asked this question at a recent workshop I know that the answer is too often, no.

Think about the consequences of that for a moment. Even if you have a team of only two or three, the effect of you all not knowing and agreeing what the number one priority is, is at best frustrating and at worst terminal. It means a lack of focussed effort. It means that you are not all on the same page. It means a lack of common purpose and all of the benefits that will accrue from a small group of people working together towards an agreed outcome. It means that every day there is a strong possibility that you all come in to do a great job but you are all actually pulling in different directions and often against each other.

Business is tough enough without you diluting your joint efforts for the lack of a clear measurable priority.

Imagine a football team who are all united in wanting to play great football, but that means different things to different players. For some of them it means winning the FA Cup, for others it means winning the league, and for yet more it means qualifying for Europe. They may think they are working together towards a common goal but in reality in any given game two thirds of them won’t be particularly bothered about the outcome.

It is funny how often the number one priority only ever becomes a clear point of focus because of a crisis, like relegation for a football team or survival for a business. If we were always crystal clear about our number one priority for the quarter and for the year we probably wouldn’t ever reach that point of crisis.

Conversely the power and leverage of everyone’s focussed and measurable effort towards a clear goal is extraordinary.

And remembering the mantra “Clarity is Power” let me ask again, do you and you your team know what your number one priority is for this quarter and for this year?