Taking Stock

iStock_000006626473SmallDid 2014 start off with a roar or a whimper in your organization?

Here we are, one quarter down, reports on the health of the organization piling up on your desk. How was it? Was this the kickoff quarter to a profitable year, or are year end goals falling further away?

When you look at your progress, both personally and organizationally, are there common themes that might summarize your year-to-date? Not enough depth in talent? Actionable ideas but no action?

In my own organization and for the numerous executives I consult with and speak with daily, one constant refrain is that opportunities abound right now. Both wonderful and frightening at the same time. Between the economy of the last half dozen years and the sequester, many in our country have been feeling pinched; so more opportunities to sell, to serve, to provide are good. On the other hand, more opportunities present the challenge of managing talent in your organization; arguably the most difficult yet important task you have.

We’ve gotten so used to doing more with less: fewer people working on the same tasks means longer days for everyone. Is it just me, or are some days spent being a one-armed paperhanger?

In their book, “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results”, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papason, make a compelling case for specialization. For finding that one thing that we can do, that we need to do; and doing it with laser focus and laser precision. Their arguments about how to cultivate better habits are compelling because in part, they have chronicled Keller’s own journey. Multitasking, say the two, is counterproductive because success at a task requires extreme concentration, and not scattershot attempts. Find that ONE thing, they claim, and everything that follows becomes clear.

The age old debate between generalists and specialists will, no doubt, continue to rage on; each business is different and so too will be the answers. Many organizations have strength and depth precisely because they have a balance of the two.

But as a leader, as the one person in the organization where the proverbial buck stops: should you be a specialist? Have you identified your one thing?

Would finding your one thing have made an impact on your first quarter? I’d love to hear your views and comments.

If you need organizational guidance, or help in finding your one thing, reach out to Boxer Advisors, LLC. Visit our Spring Into Action showcase for new ideas and solutions.

Boxer Advisors, LLC, is a full-service consulting, training and coaching firm with more than 50 professional consultants, facilitators, and coaches and carefully selected partners providing services to Federal agencies and Fortune 1000 companies since 1996.

Contact us today to learn more.

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