The Tyranny of Urgent AND Important
|Learn the purpose behind the chart and the Blackberry.|
Ah-Ha! Moment — Well, it finally happened — I knew this day would come, and this is it. For the first time EVER, I did not meet ALL my Todd's Results goals for this month.
What happened — I came into the month with four Urgent AND Important projects, and then I picked up three NEW ones halfway through the month! I quickly realized I could not meet all of my goals AND properly address these Urgent AND Important projects. Thus, I made a decision — I notified my Accountability Partners of my changed situation, told them I intended to give priority to the projects and use my judgement to triage my accountability goals, and asked them for appropriate flexibility. Both said they understood and would do so.
At our monthly meeting, one Accountability Partner (AP) did not feel comfortable signing her name to "Todd has met all his goals this month" when I, indeed, had not met them all. She agreed I had done all I could, I was correct in putting business-critical needs ahead of Todd's Results ... and I did not meet several of my agreed-upon goals, so a "Not Met" should be considered. Talk about "tough love" — gulp! A "Red X" — how terrifying!
None of us felt a "Not Met" was truly warranted, given my updates to them on changed situations. So, my Accountability Partners proposed awarding me a "Yellow Check Mark" to indicate I had done everything possible and had still come up short, subject to one condition — that I write about this experience and explain the significance of the new rating symbol. It was a no-brainer — I'd take the "Yellow Check Mark" and get writing!
Lesson learned? Three, actually. First, "being accountable" does not mean "doing the impossible," provided challenges are appropriately communicated. Second, the purpose of Todd's Results is to plan and execute important business tasks, and these SHOULD be superseded by business-critical projects. Third, "it's okay" to get a "Yellow Check Mark" because there WILL be months like this, and I am still willing to be accountable for meeting — or NOT meeting — my goals ... and thus publicly admit I am not perfect.