Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

Entries in priorities (29)


What Is Your Juggling Elephants Routine Costing You?

The first line of the article said it all: A couple going on a European vacation remembered to take their duty-free purchases and their 18 suitcases, but forgot their 3-year-old daughter at the airport. Read the entire article by clicking here.

Apparently they were late for a flight, and in the rush to the gate they forgot to check to make sure they had all five of their children. The good news is that the child was safely flown to meet them on the next flight. Scary moments.

A comment by one of the grandmothers really got my attention. She said, "We're in shock. They're very responsible and organized, top-notch people." Let's review-they left their child at an airport and flew to another country! While it would be so easy to just scream at the parents, I have to wonder-how many well-intentioned people have made some really poor choices because they were just working or living at such a breakneck "juggling elephants" speed.

How many good employees have left an organization because their manager or supervisor was just too occupied with "busy work" to respond to their needs. I'll bet there are a ton of individuals who have abandoned their life's passion because they were too busy with the daily rush of life. And yes, all too often, we see children or spouses get left behind in some way because someone was focusing too much on the "wrong ring."

What is your "rush to the gate" routine costing you? Some things are just too important to be lost.


Before you lose something of value to you, why not read (or reread) Juggling Elephants? You can buy it here.


Fight For The Time That Is Yours!

Bernie Garcia, an 83 year old great-grandmother, was in a tough situation. As she was buying gas for her vehicle, a man approached her and tried to grab her purse. She fought back, and was pulled to the ground and dragged a short distance by the man before another man confronted the would-be robber. The thief was soon caught by local police after he fled in his vehicle.

Ms. Garcia required no medical treatment. What really hit me about her story, however, is what she told her son after the attack. He asked, "Why didn't you just give (the purse) up?" Her reply was, "---- no, that was my purse. I was fighting for what was mine." In her situation, the best thing for her to do was probably give up the purse, but in the heat of the moment it's hard to make the logical choice.

What if you, however, took that same approach today with your time and energy. Don't let unnecessary or frivolous acts in your lineup "steal" your resources, making you unable to accomplish what is most important to you. Remember... you are fighting for something that means more to you than anyone else.


To learn more how a Juggling Elephants program could help your people better "fight" for their time, click here.


A Tip For Leaders (Ringmasters)

Susan Arnold was the first woman to head a global business unit at Proctor and Gamble. In an interview about her success, she made an amazing statement. She said, "Leaders who don't set priorities can burn out their organizations."

What a powerful statement. In Juggling Elephants terms we would say that keeping the performers busy but not focusing on purpose will diminish the success of the circus. Performers need to know the "why" behind the "what." As the Ringmaster, it's your job to know the reason for the arrangement of the lineup and to communicate it to the performers.

How well do the performers in your circus know the priorities driving their acts? What can you do today to make sure you don't burn them out?


To help your leaders better manage ALL they have to juggle, click here.


Before You Give Up On New Year's Resolutions

At the beginning of the year, it can be very overwhelming to look at our "circus" and think of all the areas where we want to improve our lineup. It can even get depressing for some. New Year's resolutions and our goals for the upcoming year can seem daunting and with almost one month gone in 2008 we forget about them so that we don’t have to face that we are falling short so quickly.

I take strength from the thought, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Break down your goals into bite size pieces. Spread your goals throughout the year and also be realistic as you make resolutions. Like we say in the book, "What's the best time to bring this new act into the lineup?" Focus on one per week or one per month. One-Two well executed improvements (see blog from Tuesday) are better than 4-5 sloppily attempted that are ultimate failures.

Lastly, look at what acts can be removed from your circus as you look to add new ones. Nothing weighs more heavily on a performer than a line up that is too crowded... that loud crash is an elephant that just fell on someone-don't let it be you.


Before the people in your organization give up on their new year's resolution, consider a webinar on the message of Juggling Elephants. Click here to learn more.


The Two Hostages of Too Much To Do

Too much to do... rushing through our days tackling one task after another, checking them off our list, and then forging ahead to the next one without delay. We may even take pride in being called a workaholic. We believe that all this hurried pace will one day offer us freedom from the rat race-when everything is done. What I have found, however, is that in this process we often hold hostage two essential elements required for success. Two things that in a reflective moment we would acknowledge should NEVER be neglected, but in our ever increasing pace of life, we cast them aside to hyper focus on getting all this "work" done. The two hostages you ask? Personal well being and relationships.

Merriam Webster defines a hostage as, "A person who is captured by someone who demands that certain things be done before the captured person is freed." How close does that sound to what we do when we are trying to get it all done? We "tie up" our wellness and relationships, demanding that everything else be accomplished before we will allow wellness and relationships to be "free" to be a part of our lives again. Two aspects of our lives that are the building blocks of productivity, and we limit their presence in our lives. Does that seem ironic to anyone besides me?

One of the quotes from the book, Getting the Blue Ribbon, is You are growing something every day. What grows, and how it grows is up to you. Ironically, what you don't choose to grow begins to die-or grow in a manner that is not desirable. While tasks that contribute most heavily to our sense of being productive may not seem like living organisms, how about our personal well-being and relationships? They ARE living breathing organisms that need our daily attention if they are to thrive.

An uncomfortable but effective solution to jolt us out of our denial may be to imagine those closest to us locked in a room, because we are mentally and emotionally doing that when we neglect the opportunities to engage in time with family, friends, and even coworkers. They really want to be a part of our day and support us, but we keep the door locked because we falsely reason that there will time for such things later. Or just as startling may be to think of ourselves being trapped in a place that is not pleasant because we refuse to take time to focus on activities that will recharge and renew our sense of purpose in life. Just as those who hold hostages pay a price for their crimes, so do we. And just like many hostage situations, the people being held are hurt as well.

Our personal wellness and relationships are just too important to neglect while we fervently try to get everything else done. What are you holding hostage today in your struggle to be productive? How much more effective would you be if you set those things free?