One of the primary roles of a leader is to focus their team or organization on the most important goals and issues that will lead to high performance. This is no small feat. It requires strategic thinking and great discipline.
Any organization has many improvements it “could” make in its operations. But there is only so much time and are only so many resources.
Leaders need to make sure that they and their organizations are not distracted by working on operational improvements at which they may already be doing “good enough.” Some improvements are not going to get you very far – in a strategic sense.
The key is selecting strategic areas of improvement where you are good – but can become great,
You can't accept mediocrity, but you cannot be great at everything either. One of the most important things leaders can do is to say “no” to certain proposals – while pointing the team toward the strategic initiatives that will be the priority. What do you need to say “no” to today?
Management guru Jim Collins* once said that “Good is the enemy of great,” and this is true in many ways.
The road to organizational excellence for enhanced Mission Impact is not an easy one – which is why so few find the destination successfully. Focused leadership on matters of strategic importance is key.
*Good to Great, Jim Collins, NY: HarperBusiness, 2001.