Focus and Priority

February/03/2008 3:31AM
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I will list randomly several issues facing our country and our society. Next, try to list them in priority from most important to least important. Immigration, economy, energy, national defense, Iraq, Iran, education, housing market, govenment spending, taxes, the poor in the US, global warming, family values, the cost of lawsuits, health insurance, the deficit, the dollar, and social security and medicare. This is not a comprehensive list, just a few top issues.

Now, compare your list of top issues with what you see on the National news this week. I did this last week. Every network news show I saw had at least one story on global warming. If global warming is real and I’m skeptical because asbestos and silicone implants are still fresh in my mind as urban legends perpetrated on me by Washington, the media and the legal profession. Also, I admit to not believing one thing Al Gore has ever said. But, let’s say it is real. Can we have the luxury of putting it on the front burner when we have so many other issues to deal with and we are dealing with none.

When a company loses focus, it begins to deal with diversity, human resourses issues, training, the management guru ideas du jour, computer enhancements, consultants, reorganizations and other esoteric and long term issues. Style takes precedence over substance. Key goals go unmet. Profits plummet. But, it is easier to deal with conceptual issues than real issues. The focus is lost. There is an old joke. One CEO is replacing another who was fired. The fired CEO hands the incoming CEO three sealed envelopes. He says open the one with the number one when things get bad. Open number two if they get worse and number three if they hit bottom. Sure enough, he has to open number one. It says change the accounting system, it will buy you time. Things get worse, he opens number two. It says reorganize, it will buy you time. Now, two years have gone by and it’s bad. He opens number three. It says: prepare three envelopes.

Bush is on enveolope number three. If his successor spends time on the wrong issues, we will cycle faster and number three will be up in a year. Too long with no focus. Is help on the way?

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