More, More, More
The paradox of success says that success itself is often a catalyst for failure. The more success we have, the more opportunities that surface and the more opportunities we are presented with. In our consistent pursuit of more, we typically run through those newly opened doors.
After all, more has to be better, right?
More clothes, more shoes, more cars, more money, more friends, more admiration, more respect is what we all pursue. We not only do everything we can to achieve these things, but we also love to attach our value and worth to it. The more money we make, the more powerful we are. The more wins we have, the more respect we deserve.
We love the relentless pursuit of more.
Until we don’t.
Why Should We Care?
There comes a time in our life when more isn’t enough, when we realize more doesn’t provide the satisfaction we once thought it did. We realize that far more things in life are non-essential than we would like to admit. We finally accept that almost everything is noise.
And, more of it is just more noise.
The thing that sets excellent leaders, and people, apart from everyone else is that they are able to identify the critical few. And, just as importantly, disregard the trivial many. They stay committed to the most important, never tiring of the simple or mundane.
For a clear example of the value in focusing on the critical few, look no further than fast food restaurants. While there are plenty of food chains offering a wide variety of options, those that are considered excellent typically narrow their focus. Chick-fil-A and Cane’s are dedicated to chicken while Five Guys sticks with hamburgers. The quality they provide is not a coincidence. They’ve identified their critical few.
The same is true for us in our personal life and our leadership journey. We are at our best when we have clarity around our priorities. Our core values and purpose can provide this for us if we are open to doing the work to discover it.
Rather than striving for more of the non-essential we need to become disciplined in the things that matter the most.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown identifies a three step process to focusing on the most important items.
Choosing to focus on the important, eliminating the other things that don’t really matter, and accepting that we can do anything but not everything is one of the most important steps on the path to excellence. The sooner we grasp the value of less, the better leaders we will be.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.