A Week’s Worth of Mistakes: # 1 - The Narcotic Effect of Short Term Success

I’m writing this week about a series of mistakes that we are beginning to see regularly.

In each case, the action is well intentioned. But the effect is the opposite of that hoped for. Or worse, intended.

Mistake #1 we call the Narcotic Effect of Short Term Success.

Being busy feels successful. Reassurance and then validation that our efforts are succeeding and our capabilities are being recognized. Both individually and organizationally.

But as the narcotic effect of feeling successful takes hold we are rendered intellectually unconscious, our business decisions those of zombies. Repeated because they make us feel good. Not because they are taking us where we want to go.

The opportunity cost of which is the time and energy that could have been applied to building the future we want.

A recent National Small Business Survey revealed that eighty percent of the companies participating were not clear about their goals. A number that is consistent with our experience of organizations big and small.

Clearly understanding why you are doing what you are doing is a fundamental and necessary first step to achieving success.

However you define success.

A process that involves an honest assessment about what is really important to you and the legacy you want to leave behind.

None of which has much to do with how in demand you are today.

A truth you will recognize if you try to remember whether or not you were busy last March 1st.

And how little it matters if you can’t.