I am such a magpie. Whenever I pick up a new book it gets me thinking about a new subject. It doesn’t matter whether it is fiction or not. They all count. My latest pick up is a recommendation from a friend. I’m only a few pages into ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman but already I have enough to flap my wings at and wipe my beak on. It is going to be another rich vein.
What has got me going this time is the sentence ‘When faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead’. How insightful. The very same subject came up in some mentoring I was carrying out. I even quoted the passage directly.
It is much easier to do something that keeps you busy than to address some of those protracted strategic issues that are in your too difficult box. People prefer to occupy themselves with something rather than get round to those things they know they really should do. It seems to be the higher up the executive ladder you go then the worse it becomes.
A company director should spend most of their time thinking and not doing. A clue is in their title. Their focus should be on the future and not today’s business. Let others do that. How many times do you come across senior people who are flat out, incapable of taking on many more, up to their eyeballs in the day to day trivia that consumes an organisation? More times than you can shake a stick at.
There is a machismo attached. I am important. The company cannot operate without me. I need to demonstrate just how critical I am by getting involved in anything that comes my way.
But in this way the really important stuff gets missed. When faced with a difficult question, we often answer an easier one instead.
When faced with a difficult job, it is simpler to go and do an easier one instead.