Ego & Focus

Published on
May 5, 2014
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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We had our quarterly team strategy session last week. There’s a lot of exciting pieces coming down the pike that I can’t wait to share with you. But more valuable than identifying the projects we are committing to over the next 4 months, was the process of filtering the list of potential projects we had in the first place. Perhaps most painful for me, we had a couple pieces – pieces I’d already started talking about, thinking about and getting people excited about – that we had to cut from our summer schedule. Correction – we chose to cut.

I’m realizing that I like playing the superhero. I like the feeling that comes from juggling 26 balls and making it appear easy. My ego doesn’t like to slow down or cancel things. Stubbornly, my initial reaction is to push through and “make it happen”. On everything. One of the dangers of being “the boss” is the veto power that can come with it. The knee jerk reaction to get everyone on board just because I think think it’s a good idea. Here’s my big takeaway from the last week:

The act of focusing requires you to re-channel the ego.

I’m a firm believer that doing less, with excellence, is more impactful than doing more, to a satisfactory level. I say this, but then so often delude myself into believing that I’m the exception. That even though it’s good advice for everyone else, I am going to make it all happen with excellence, all the time. It sounds ridiculous when I see it written out here, but how many of us are guilty of the overcommit? This quarter, instead of letting my ego commit to a million and one things, I’m refocusing that ego into doing a few things, really, really well. Depth of quality vs breadth of activity. We’ll see how it goes.