I’m going to venture a guess that you’ve heard it said, if everything is a priority then nothing is a priority. It takes a lot of wisdom to identity what’s truly important at any given time, and courage in the face of opposition or misunderstanding  to stick with what’s truly important. Dan Rockwell shares some captivating thoughts about a leader (or organization) without priorities being like a chipmunk on steroids. You’ll find this funny, but insightful.

Originally published by Dan Rockwell

A chipmunk on steroids is always hungry. He drops the nut in his paws to grab the imploring nut that just plunked beside him.

Trivialities mesmerize in organizations that lack priorities.

5 truths for chipmunk-leaders on steroids:

#1. You don’t know what matters most.

Leaders who chase every nut that falls can’t decide what matters. Leaders without priorities end up chasing the next thing because they haven’t established priorities.

What matters most?

#2. Team members avoid you.

Chasing new nuts drives teams crazy when their arms are already full.

#3. Starting is more fun for you than finishing.

You drive Doers crazy.

What can you finish today?

#4. Frustration is your companion.

Chipmunks feel frustrated that others aren’t captivated with every new nut. “What’s wrong with them?”

Actually, nothing is wrong with them. They want to finish something!

Frustration worms into every situation when urgencies replace priorities.

#5. Trivialities dominate your time.

It’s too late to set priorities once nuts start falling.

The only way to get priorities on your calendar is to get them on early.

The law of the calendar: Calendars fill with trivialities when you don’t schedule priorities.

Successful leaders know how to say, “That’s not important right now.” When everything is a priority, nothing is important.

How might leaders establish priorities?