There are many things that occupy our time in daily work. But not all these business-related activities are of equal value and impact. We need to intentionally allocate time to prioritize the highest-value activities that will bring sustainable growth for our organization. Here are the top three priorities for anyone who pursues excellence as a goal in the workplace.
- Get results. Let’s use the analogy of a grape vine. A fruit tree’s sole purpose of existence is to bear fruit. To bear more fruit, we need to constantly prune the tree’s fruit-producing branches and cut away branches that bear no fruit. The branches of the tree are our activities or work process, which we should review daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. We may do this by filling in a performance scorecard, perhaps. Essential items that should be a part of our scorecard are revenue, account receivables, account payables, collection status, expenses, pre-tax profit and cash flow reserves. Studying these figures is like reading the results of a medical check-up or considering our report card. Analysis of these figures will help us to focus on adjustments needed to keep our business in a healthy condition. Remember, the regular pruning of fruitful branches and the cutting away of dead branches will ensure that the grape vine (our organization or business) continues to bear healthy fruit. A tree is known by its fruit and nothing else.
- Maximize talent. If we want to move fast on a journey, we should travel alone. However, if we want to go far, we should travel with companions. Talent multiplying is mandatory if we want to create a legacy beyond that which can be created through our limited time and resources. As stewards of the talent entrusted to our management, it is our responsibility to recruit the right talent to begin with. Even Jesus, the world’s best leader, spent one whole night in prayer before selecting His first 12 disciples from the masses who followed Him. Right hiring requires first culture or value-fit assessment followed by capabilities or skills-fit assessment. Hiring is a costly process but keeping the wrong talent or assigning talent to the wrong position or task will be even more costly to our business. Therefore, we need to strategically place the talent we have recruited based on their actual ability and the needs of our projects or activities according to the purpose of our hiring. To ensure maximum level of fruitfulness, we need to create a happy environment to keep and grow our talent in a systematic manner and provide a clear mapping of rewards that commensurate with performance.
- Use time and money strategically. With limited amount of time and money entrusted to our management, we need to plan the best use of them in order to get the desired results and also for talent maximizing. One day, whatever we have done will be subjected to the ultimate spiritual “fire-quality test” to see if it will last through eternity. Therefore, whatever we do should be done with awareness of a higher purpose in God, that is, with eternity in mind. We can cut corners to escape man’s judgment but everything we do is never out of the sight of God. We should, therefore, always ask ourselves: Will what I do now be converted into things of eternal value, which neither moth nor rust can destroy? Therefore, should I not now guard the use of my time and money carefully? Each day, each week, each month, each quarter, each year and each three-year period, I ask myself, What is the ONE THING that is most important for me to devote the use of my time and money to? That ONE THING must help me to unlock the highest value opportunities for the buyer I am serving and create the domino effect on other tasks i.e. it should lead to everything else I do becoming easier so that, perhaps, I may not even need to do it anymore.
Whatever we do from the beginning, as we focus on getting results instead of looking for excuses in the eventuality of failure or a lack of fruit, and accompany it with talent maximizing and strategic use of our time and money, targeting projects of high impact that are scalable and replicable, we can expect a 30-60-100-fold return on our talent investment that will be a blessing to many nations.
“Consider carefully what you hear, with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”
– Mark 4:24, NIV
About the Author: Dr Peter Ting is the President/CEO of Family First Malaysia, and he is committed to TRANSFORMING Next Gen Fathers, supported by Mothers, to build Better families, resulting in a Better Workplace, a Better Society, and a Better Nation. In 2014, Dr Peter “retired” from a full-time corporate career. Now, he uses his time to mentor Gen-Y CEO Couples and Gen-Z leaders, who will be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. For more information about Dr Peter, see here.