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How well do you stick to priorities after you set them?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How well do you stick to priorities after you set them?

  • Very well — I rarely deviate from my priorities: 15%
  • Well — I mostly stick to them but deviate occasionally: 73%
  • Not well — I have difficulty sticking to my priorities: 11%
  • Not at all — I neither set nor stick to priorities: 1%

Flexibility Matters. Things change every day. While it’s important to set priorities, don’t be afraid to deviate from them as required. Clearly it’s a balance. The most important thing to do when you do deviate from them is let your team know why the priorities changed. Help them understand why things move up or down. If you don’t explain it to them, they’ll feel whipsawed and won’t be able to see the bigger picture of how priorities are set and managed based upon challenges or opportunities the organization faces.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”