101 – Know Your Own Minimum Work

If a requirement can’t be met, there is no need to discuss the matter further. If the facts are wrong or unknown, nothing can be done until the truth be known. If it’s not your responsibility, don’t think another moment of it.

Focus on the difference you can make, for better or worse. Always prepare for the unexpected, give forethought to future situations, but don’t fantasize about things beyond your stewardship. Be considerate of others and be concerned about your own responsibility, not vice versa.

The world has no shortage of nosy people minding other people’s businesses. Nor is there any lack of dreamy managers designing artwork to paint the outside walls of a building while its foundations crumble. Everything has a minimum and everyone has his own business; keep your laser focus there.

Multiple projects and forked approaches aren’t bad. Single-product, single-service business models may work for some people while other people’s “single” mission is to have many smaller, related missions. Don’t confuse diversity with distraction. You can pursue many venues as long as you know the minimum needed to keep the ship afloat and don’t neglect it.

At the negotiating table, too much energy is wasted on posturing, “I don’t need you, but I want you,” chatter. East Asians love to gang up on the Western business prospect in their meetings. Don’t get lost. Steer your way through any kind of sales pitch, business proposal, suggestion to change your methods and mission—keep your direction my knowing you minimum and asking for neither more nor less.

If you can change your mind after an hour of niggling, you owe a consulting fee for help with “visioning”. Think through in advance. The, treat the meeting as a fact-finding mission; listen, understand, ask questions, learn.

It’s hard to stay focused on delivering a package you don’t recognize. But, when you know your minimum mission, you’ll have the guiding light to travel lightweight. What you need and don’t need along your journey won’t require a committee. Decisions can be made at the drop of a hat because, frankly, you’ve already made those decisions. You know your minimums, everything else is a matter of walking it out.