Andrew Carnegie, a business titan in the late 1800s, was introduced to Frederick Taylor, who was becoming well known as an expert on organizing work.
“Young man”, Carnegie said, addressing Taylor, “If you can tell me something about management that is worth hearing, I will send you a check for $10,000.
Conversations stopped and the room became quiet.
“Mr. Carnegie”, Taylor replied, “I would advise you to make a list of the ten most important things you can do. Then, start doing number one.”
A week later Taylor received a check for $10,000. (In today’s money, this is $270,000.)
Richard Rumelt describes this scene in his book, “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy”.
As Rumelt reflects, “The value that Carnegie perceived was not from the list itself, but from constructing the list. Value generation was created at the crossroads of what was strategically important and personally actionable.
Each of us will do many things this year. Some will keep us busy and maintain the status quo. Other actions will serve as a catalyst and contribute to the highest vision we have for ourselves and our business.
How do you focus on the crossroads of strategic priorities and purposeful action?
Photo by Ken Walsh @ Alamy (B83W7)