In his classic book ‘The Effective Executive’, Peter F. Drucker introduced the concept of ‘posteriorities’ into management. He said “the reason why so few executives concentrate is the difficulty of setting ‘posteriorities’— that is, deciding what tasks not to tackle— and of sticking to the decision. Most executives don’t have problems setting priorities at all. They know that this or that task is not a first priority but giving it a posteriority is risky. What one has relegated may turn out to be the competitor’s triumph. There is usually no guarantee that it will not explode into the hottest or most dangerous issue”. Setting a posteriority can be very unpleasant especially because it is always somebody else’s priority. It however takes great courage to not just identify but also act only on what is truly important. Jack of all trade they say, is a master of none but in today’s ‘you can have it all’ world, it takes real guts to be able to focus as we are often torn apart by seemingly urgent priorities such that doing a little of this and that becomes the order and nothing truly gets done at the end of the day. Even after discerning what our priorities should be, being effective requires one to be able to focus on the predetermined order of actions and not get carried away trying to take on too many tasks at a go.
Living a good and balanced life entails being able to discover purpose, plan towards its fulfillment and be disciplined enough to do what is needful per time. He who fails to plan, plan to fail but it is not just enough to plan, having the courage to see it through is what separate the achievers. The power of focus can not be overemphasized when it comes to this. Every task should be carried out in order importance and how they impact our expected end results while others should for the time being be tagged posteriorities and should so be treated irrespective of whatever or however tempting they may seem. Mastery of oneself is key to fulfilling destiny because therein lies the power and courage to set great goals, the discernment and diligence to know what to do and the rugged determination to act and stay focused. I’ll be suggesting some simple steps to staying focused in our next piece but I challenge you today to dare to dream, dare to pursue your dreams and dare to stay focused! You’re lifted!