Gary Keller and Jay Papasan in their book, The One Thing, open with the Russian proverb: “If you chase two rabbits… you will not catch either one.” This simple phrase starts a magnificent journey of discovery for great leaders as they find another magical key in achieving extraordinary success and significance. It begins with a haunting and perennial question: “If everyone has the same number of hours in a day, why do some people seem to get so much more done than others?” Keller and Papasan respond with a gift of light which threads through their book: “The answer is they make getting to the heart of things the heart of their approach. They go small.”
It is about bringing deliberate and surgical focus to what is really important, a focus that becomes internalized and part of a great leadership. Its result is that over-extension is minimized, calendars become less crowded, to-do lists shortened and meetings are reduced. Time, effort and vision is concentrated on what is really important. Keller and Papasan punctuate and ground their approach using the Pareto Principle: “The 80/20 principle asserts that a minority of cause, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards.” Simply said: “The majority of what you want will come from the minority of what you do.”
They add greater excitement to the approach suggesting the use of an extreme Pareto: within the 20%, take 20% of that, and then 20% that % until you have only one thing remaining. Go small is the driving message. Clear the clutter and focus on that one thing that will change your business, your community, your personal life or you. As Keller and Papasan tell great leaders, you will be “doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects…. When you go as small as possible, you’ll be staring at one thing. And that’s the point.” Take the challenge. Find that One Thing that will change you forever! Remember always the Russian proverb: “If you chase two rabbits… you will not catch either one.”
Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!