Once we have used the ten types of opportunity to find new options for moving forward, our next task is to choose between them.
Peter Drucker had very a clear view about the best way to do this.
Drucker was an author and consultant whose thinking shaped the modern corporation. He said:
“Doing the right things is more important than doing things right.”
In other words, it is better to choose a difficult path towards the outcomes you want than an easy path towards the wrong results — better to move slowly in the right direction than quickly in the wrong one, better to do the right things imperfectly than the wrong things well.
Reading this it might seem obvious. But how many times have you gone along with what was easy rather than standing up for what was important? How many times have you allowed a situation to slip only to find it getting worse?
Sailing brings a useful metaphor.
If the winds are blowing in the direction you want to travel then your decision is easy: you sail downwind. But when the wind is blowing against you, you don’t just give up and you don’t just go with the wind. Instead, you tack and jibe across the wind. And though you seem to be pointing in the wrong direction, you are actually inching forward towards your chosen destination.
Choosing the best way forward is not just about finding more opportunities — it’s about choosing the way forward that is best for you, even if that goes against the way the wind is blowing today. Better to move slowly in the right direction than quickly in the wrong one.
In your work, and in your life, are you going wherever the wind blows or are you deliberately moving towards a destination that matters to you?
Adapted from Inner Leadership: a framework and tools for building inspiration in times of change.
You can sign up to daily posts here.
(And remember: you don’t learn to swim by reading about swimming, you also have to practice.)