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Commentary & Analysis

Don't Prioritize Activity Over Strategy

Activity does not equal results. You can be really busy, work really hard and fail miserable because you were busy doing the wrong thing.

By Jennifer Matt
Published: April 21, 2014

We are all very busy.

We could keep just "doing" all day every day.

We often think that as long as we keep "doing" everything will be alright.

There's a real problem with this belief. Think of this analogy. If you consider "activity or doing" as rowing a boat, you keep doing the next task thinking that each task you complete moves you along through the water.

The problem is that activity doesn't steer the boat, strategy does.

Too many of us have our heads down rowing as fast as we can hoping that will be enough. Put the oars down, look up and make sure you know where you're headed.

You have to take time out of your business to work on the business. Yes, that means you take yourself out of the daily drinking from a fire hose to ponder where is all this activity leading you?

The right strategy, paired with measured activity (execution) is a beautiful thing. The opposite of that is frantic activity that is heading in the wrong direction and leaves everyone tired and demoralized. We rarely fail because we didn't do enough, we fail because we didn't do enough of the right things (we were rowing hard in the wrong direction or in circles).

Your people's job is to row, the leader's job is to steer. Start steering more - your business environment is constantly changing and requires lots of course corrections along the way.


Jennifer Matt is the managing editor of WhatTheyThink’s Print Software section as well as President of Web2Print Experts, Inc. a technology-independent print software consulting firm helping printers with web-to-print and print MIS solutions. You can reach her at jen@whattheythink.com.


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