Creative LeadershipCreativity

Is the Small Stuff Keeping You From Accomplishing the BIG Stuff?

As I continue consulting with organizations and their leaders, one of the biggest obstacles that’s becoming more and more clear is that some leaders understand the importance of communicating their message, and others don’t. It’s that simple. The ones that see the importance, budget the time and money necessary to make it happen have vision. As a result, they see big possibilities out there, and focus relentlessly on how their message can have greater impact.  The rest?

They keep putting it on the back burner.

In most cases, they can’t see the big possibilities, because the day to day small stuff is in their way. You act on what you see, and most leaders don’t know how to mange the small stuff so they can clearly see the big stuff. Writer and teacher Dallas Willard noticed that spiritual growth was similar. The reason we don’t have a more vital spiritual life is because what’s VISIBLE gets our attention over what’s INVISIBLE.  Until we can manage that balance better, we’ll never grow deeper spiritually.

It’s about managing the small stuff so you can focus on the big stuff.

The question is, what’s the small things that are keeping you from accomplishing big things?

I’d love to hear what challenges you face…


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  1. I think by far it is the distractions. I was just in a conversation last week about where we were technology-wise 15 years ago. We weren’t constantly getting ‘hits’ on our computers and mobile devices to interrupt life. I had a pager… followed by a bag phone, followed by a brick phone followed by a cell phone etc etc.

    Even as I typed that last sentence, my iPhone told me I had a new email on my company account. Because I’m doing active business this morning, I had to go to that email to respond on a contract proposal.

    Last night I had a conversation about how current technology impacts how people process information. Old TV shows and movies could take longer to develop on a plot. Now, people anticipate and are ready to move into the next scene for conflict or resolution.

    I would have already gotten booted from Twitter in my first sentence (140 characters)  and Facebook (420 characters) on my third paragraph.

    For me, the small things are distractions. (I have learned processes for coping with this) 


  2. I’m facing the challenge of high aspirations with small budgets. My ideas are in high gear while the business is still in in low gear. My process is to create the infrastructure (people & equipment) to manage the low gear work so that I can pursue the bigger picture.

    I guess you could say I am trying to keep my head in the clouds AND my feet on the ground. Possible?

  3. The small things? Distractions, Interruptions and Scope creep. I work from home as a teacher (homeschool), and as a freelance artist. I also teach at an art school and in a cooperative. Each roll has its own committees, meetings and calls.
    Distractions and interruptions are kept in line with ground rules: the cell number is off limits. Work happens on the land line or by internet. The land line has a machine to screen calls during class  (I pick up for students). I will cordon off interruption-free time for lesson planning or freelance work. Facebook is a huge distraction, but it’s also the communication tool for most groups. I try to limit it to certain times of the day.
    Scope creep is more challenging, since the problem is a relative of the goal. It doesn’t come up much in my freelancing work. However, it’s a problem in most volunteer organizations, and for many homeschoolers. I have to constantly be on my guard, if our schooling is to survive the onslaught of ‘possibilities’. Each term, we re-evaluate where we want to go, and which things will hinder, help, or make no difference to our journey. Decisions on what we can commit to, are based on those. I work with some very enthusiastic people. A clear definition of what is needed versus what is wanted… helps. The ability to say no, is what actually makes it work.

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