One of the major attributes of successful management is the ability to choose what is the right and realistic priority from all the competing priorities that confront a business. The setting of a clear goal focuses and aligns the energy and effort of the team to achieve stunning results.

So often, short term goals and tasks are set reactively in response to an event or circumstance.

However, for longer term priorities we need time to reflect and review to consider the options and then to choose the right priority. It must be a conscious choice to move from making reactive decisions to proactive decisions. It’s the fundamental change of moving from functional thinking to strategic thinking.

This is often easier said than done, so let’s have a look at some of the steps that need to be considered when deciding on which are the key priorities.

1. Always Having the End in Mind*

What is the one thing that would move you closer to that goal? What will have the largest impact?

2. Consider Cause and Effect

Often the focus is on the effect (the outcome) that is required rather than the cause (the input) to achieve that effect or outcome.
Let’s look at an current agricultural example. Farmers need to provide and look after the bees and insects (the cause or input) to have their crops pollinated to achieve higher yields (the effect or outcome). But to look after the insects the farmer may need to look after the environment etc.
So, sometimes the priority may be more than one step away from the effect we are seeking.

3. Consider Symptoms v Disease


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