Execute by Way of Prioritizing


Every two weeks, I have a leadership meeting with several other editors from our parent company, Peake Media, and the company’s COO.

Together, we typically read books and work to solve problems each of us has faced. As I write this blog, we are working through “Extreme Ownership,” by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink.

While we’ve been working through “Extreme Ownership” in our leadership meetings, we continually come back to one theme: prioritizing. The authors share that while in the middle of combat, problems can snowball. As a leader on the battlefield, it’s his or her job to prioritize and execute – or, as the authors wrote, “relax, look around, make a call.”

“Even the most competent of leaders can be overwhelmed if they try to tackle multiple problems or a number of tasks simultaneously. The team will likely fail at each of those tasks,” wrote the authors. “Instead, leaders must determine the highest priority task and execute.”

Personally, this can be a challenge. So many tasks and to-dos get thrown my way daily – have you seen my Sticky Notes? I can sometimes get overwhelmed with how much there is to accomplish in eight hours. In fact, I can even freeze up because I feel the pressure of so many tasks weighing down on me, pinning me in place. Does this sound familiar, Affiliate?

As a gym owner, you wear a lot of hats. You’re a Coach at 6:00 a.m. You’re chatting with your landlord at 10 a.m. You are ordering a new rower at 11 a.m. You are trying to figure out how to get members to stay at your Box around noon. You have a lot to do in one 24-hour span. However, don’t get overwhelmed, Affiliate. Like Babin and Willink shared, prioritize all your tasks, and execute them.

And as the leader at your Box, you need to step back to be able to “relax, look around, make a call.” If you are in the thick of it all the time, you can get lost in the details. Your job is to maintain the strategic picture for your business, which can help you spot problem areas before they become problems.

“A particularly effective means to help prioritize and execute under pressure is to stay at least a step or two ahead of real-time problems,” wrote the authors. “Through careful contingency planning, a leader can anticipate likely challenges that could arise during execution and map out an effective response to those challenges before they happen.”

Prioritize and then execute your plan, Affiliate. You just might be surprised at how well it works.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.