The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

the pursuit of less


“We say no to good ideas every day.  We say no to great ideas in order to keep the amount of things we focus on very small in number so that we can put enormous energy behind the ones we do choose.”

– Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)

“There will always be more good idea’s than there is capacity to implement.”

– Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, & Jim Huling in The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Is Less Really More?

Looking at the picture above, which of these represents you and your expenditure of energy?

We are all guilty at times of stretching ourselves thin.  Some of us are chronic offenders of stretching ourselves thin.

If you look at Tim Cook’s quote above (Tim is the CEO of Apple, Inc.) and you look at the very small number of products that they sell, and if you look at how much success they have and the amount of revenue that they earn, you can make a strong argument that their pursuit of less is paying off quite well for them.

When you look at your own life, your own job and all the things that are on your plate, what are the very few things that are absolutely essential for you to focus on so that you, like at Apple, can put an enormous amount of energy into those items and achieve great things along the way?

Case Study: Jack Bauer

AZCOMP core value #8 is “Get Your Jack Bauer On”.  If you haven’t watched any of the TV show 24, then this might make no sense to you, but allow me to give a brief synopsis.

Jack Bauer is a character on the hit TV series 24, and is played by Keifer Sutherland.  Jack is no ordinary person.  Throughout the series, his primary role is to either save the life of the President of the United States, or protect America from an imminent major terrorist attack (or both).

Jack has an incredible ability to always accomplish his task, and he achieves it almost at any cost.  His task is of the utmost importance.  If he fails, then the consequences would always be quite disastrous or even fatal for millions of American lives.  So he stops at nothing.

If you have watched the show, you will know that the single biggest reason that he is able to complete his task, or his mission is that he puts 100% of all of his energy into things that will help him to achieve his goal.  He has 1 goal, 1 task, 1 assignment, and with both passion and determination he doesn’t stop until it has been completed.

We encourage our own team here at AZCOMP to work with passion and determination and to narrow the focus to the task at hand.  Multi-tasking is something that reduces productivity.  Multi-tasking is the same as being constantly interrupted.

Were You Successful With Your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions?

Since the year is coming to a close, many people will start to reflect on how they did this past year, and will look towards next year to accomplish new things and to improve.  With goal setting on the horizon, let’s take some lessons learned from Apple and from Jack Bauer.

Narrow your focus to just one or two goals.  These would be goals that will have the biggest impact on your success or your growth.  Set everything else off to the side for some other time.  Remember the quote from the best-selling book The 4 Disciplines of Execution– “There will always be more good idea’s than there is capacity to implement.”

If you try to “focus” on too many things at the same time, then that is not focus and you will risk accomplishing nothing.

Now with your one or two biggest impact goals set, you will be focused so you can put an enormous amount of energy behind accomplishing these things.

What are you going to be focusing on in 2015?  Share with the community here and let us all know your ideas by leaving a comment below.



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