The Genius of the And

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

Most jobs have multiple and competing priorities.  Average and poor performers don’t have the ability to manage multiple priorities.  Outstanding performers are excellent at managing multiple priorities.

Let’s take a look at some jobs and competing priorities that come with them.

I’m self employed, that means I have to:

• Generate business.
• Perform the work.
• Manage receivables.

All of these tasks have a number of activities associated them.  For example, to generate business, I do a number of things:

• Create and update websites
• Write two blogs
• Publish an ezine
• Write books
• Follow up with existing clients
• Call on potential new clients
• Write proposals

If you’re in sales, you need to:

• Make calls.
• Close sales.
• Manage your paperwork.
• Provide competitive information

If you’re in manufacturing, you need to:

• Produce product.
• Meet quality standards.
• Do it safely.
• Manage costs.

If you’re in finance, you need to:

• Develop forecasts and budgets.
• Close the books monthly, quarterly and annually.
• Respond to requests for information.

You get the picture, there is no job I know where you’ll have the luxury of concentrating on one thing only.  Average and poor performers tend to be victims of the “tyranny of the or”.  If they’re in sales, you might hear them saying, “what do you want, sales or paperwork?”  If they’re in manufacturing, you might hear them saying, “what do you want, production or quality?”  If they’re in finance, you might hear them saying “what do you want timely closes, or responses to requests for information?”  The answer to these questions, of course, is “both”.

Outstanding performers realize that their jobs are multifaceted.  They budget their time in a manner that allows them to do everything important to the successful completion of their job.  If they’re in sales, they make the prescribed number of calls, and meet their quota and submit their paperwork complete and on time.  If they’re in manufacturing, they produce high quality products, and do so in a safe manner and at or below the budgeted cost.

These people know and understand the “genius of the and”.  They embrace the multiple priorities of their jobs.  They get everything done that they need to.

Are you a victim of “the tyranny of the or”, or a master of “the genius of the and”.  If you want to be an outstanding performer, you need to become the latter.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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