"A great company is much more likely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity than starvation from too little." - Jim Collins
In my business, I work intimately with other businesses. I work with them to grow, to increase margins, to solve their biggest problems and to seize on their greatest opportunities. My client companies are filled with smart, honorable and hardworking people committed to making their business successful. And sometimes, these fine people make me nuts.
One of the increasingly prevalent phenomena in business today is what I call management attention deficit disorder or MADD. MADD looks something like this. In a management meeting you are sitting around a table debating about a problem. Someone comes up with an idea. A good idea! The group gets excited and starts chattering about how to implement this revolutionary new idea. Feeling good, the meeting adjourns.
So what's wrong with that? This great idea has been suggested before - at other meetings and to solve other problems. So happy was management that we thought of a solution that we forgot to execute on the solution. And thus, in a circular fashion, we revisit the same problems, discuss the same solutions, and never implement. As a result, management time is wasted and our business performance lags.
How do we solve MADD? I recommend the following:
Effective leaders cannot be like cats. They cannot pounce on every new shiny object that rolls across their path. They must be proactive and thoughtful with uncompromising focus. They must evolve from problem solving to problem prevention. They must do this even at the expense of the immediate gratification which comes from constantly rescuing things and people around them.
A wise man once said that the difference between winners and losers is that winners discipline themselves to do the things losers refuse to do. Sometimes these things may seem tedious - like planning your work and working your plan.