What are your priorities today? You may have a task list, you may have meetings lined up, but what are your real priorities? Lately, I have been amazed at the answers I get when I query executives about their priorities. Many utter a reference to "objectives" that sounds good, but soon they discover that their answers do not clarify what their priorities are that day. They often are not clear on what actions they need to focus on today that will lead to success tomorrow.

The second revelation is the massive amount of "disconnects" there are within companies over what the top priorities are, or should be. In training sessions I often focus on aligning their priorities in order to achieve their strategic goals. I will take executives through a discovery exercise that goes like this-

I ask the group to list their top 3 priorities. I then ask them to get with the person that they report to or with their teammates with whom they work most closely. They compare their priorities and guess what? Over 50% of the time they do not match! Over half the time their priorities may be completely different than those around them. Do you think this might cause some "disconnects?" Imagine, the person that you report to thinks you should be working on "X" and you are working feverishly on "Y." Do you think someone may be disappointed? There is a huge misalignment here, and it is all based upon assuming that everyone knows what is important, the real priorities. Do not assume! Ask, verify, and realign!

Business runs at a frenetic pace as you well know. Things pop up daily that divert your focus and therefore your priorities. Over time you can lose sight of the real priorities that lead to the achievement of the bigger goals that you have established. It all comes down to continual communication about what is important and what has changed on the landscape that may have shifted your priorities.

Steve Pinchotti, COO of Altum, Inc., states- "The leadership in every company must set clear objectives and priorities and review them on a frequent basis. Having the discipline to maintain a priority list enables you to handle new initiatives with minimal disruptions. The expectation that all workers can and will achieve extraordinary results is not realistic unless they know what to work on first."

Do not wait for your review, or board meeting, etc. to discover that there was a misalignment of priorities. Check with your team and those around you to make sure that everyone constantly knows what the priorities should be. If you and your team have your priorities in sync, the more successful, and happy, you will be.

Seize the day!

Author's Bio: 

As Founder and CEO of The Rescue Institute, The Global Leader in Executive Coaching™, Drayton is an internationally respected Executive Coach, Teacher, Speaker, Author, and Mentor. He has demonstrated his innate leadership skills time and again having risen to the highest levels in corporate America, as well as in civic organizations.

Drayton has proven himself as a company President, as an entrepreneur running a high profile startup, and as a Vice President of a Fortune 100 firm, all before the age of 40. He has forged multi-million dollar joint ventures with leading Wall Street investment firms and successfully led two large national sales forces with sales in excess of $100MM.

He is a coach and confidant to chief executives throughout the world. Drayton’s enormous success stems from the fact that he has “been there, done that” and understands the challenges facing today’s leaders. His undisputed gift is turning theory into successful action.

His new book- Coming UnScrooged! A Contemporary Classic of Corporate Rescue and Redemption is already garnering high praise from many quarters.

The Rescue Institute’s mission is to help 10 million people save themselves from the lives they’ve created ®- through Coaching!
Most importantly, Drayton has learned how to live a balanced and fulfilling life... something most executives would give anything to enjoy. He lives with his wife of 22 years and their two great kids at 8,000 up in the Rockies. He can be reached at info@RescueInstitute.org.