March 26, 2004
Vol. 1, No. 12

Published Weekly on Fridays
By Leadership University

A Message from the Founder

iMull: Importance-Urgency-Motivation-Leverage and Low-hanging Fruit

I was talking with someone today about how to lead
people in situations that are relatively difficult and
complex. This becomes especially important when a
person is not very familiar with the company or
organization and wants to get things off on the right
foot in short order, so to speak.

My teachable point of view around this is that any
leader can focus on 5 things and make success seem
easy, no matter what the situation. The Big Five are:

Low-Hanging Fruit

I haven't had time to make an acronym out of it yet, so
you're seeing it in pristine form, but nonetheless this
is the secret to leadership effectiveness in almost any
situation. It is more difficult than I'm going to make
it sound, because there are "layers" of complexity
within each of these realms that must be viewed
simultaneously. So, here's a little about each one and
hopefully, you can use this with your employees or
customers to help them achieve uncommon success.

Importance: What really matters?

When it is all said and done, what do you have to
create? There are ways to think through importance, in
fact some pretty sophisticated ways like RCAP which you
can view here: RCAP will
help you differentiate what really matters in a number
of domains, perspectives and dimensions of time.

Urgency: What has to get done now!

I find a lot of people function not out of urgency, but
out of crisis. There is a big difference when the
crisis is caused because a leader in ineffective at
planning based on a sense of urgency! Not only is it
inefficient to turn the urgent into a crisis, but it
costs much more in terms of resources to deal with
things in crisis, rather than identify what is urgent.
Of course you might realize that utilizing importance
has real leverage. The Merrill's and Stephen Covey
wrote "First Things First", where they discuss the
critical nature of not falling victim to only the
urgent, but the designing action around the important,
yet urgent. Don't make the easy mistake of confusing
the two, and don't let urgency go untended into crisis!

Motivation: Where's the energy?

In order to get things done, we have to utilize energy.
Motivation is about free energy and the willingness to
turn that free energy into productive results. You
might have importance, and you might also be on top of
what is urgent, but without motivation--energy to get
things moving, it's not going to do you any good. I
check for three things: importance, urgency and
motivation when I talk with employees and customers.
When I know the answer to those I get the fourth aspect
of this teachable point of view and that is...

Leverage: Where is the most to be gained?

There is a law of economy in human nature and is
usually stated as the least action to create the
greatest results. We all subscribe to it, some more
than others, but essentially it is a natural and
universal law. However, very few people actually think
about it so they know how it feels. Gaining Leverage is
the absolute most important thing in leadership because
we usually have scarce resources. To get the most out
of those resources requires leverage. If we complete
the circle, then we find the most economical way to
utilize leverage is with the...

Low-hanging Fruit: Where can I get the most success
with the least amount of action?

Clearly, this is one of the keys we've learned from the
marketing community. Yet, it applies to all leadership.
Low-hanging fruit that is important, urgent,
motivating, and levergeable is the fastest way I know
to leadership success. Now I realize there are moral,
ethical and legal boundaries here and they are assumed
to override anything that might appear as easy but not
suitable along these lines. Oh, the temptations will be
great because once you start using this teachable point
of view in context with the law of human economy, life
and business reveals a whole other universe of
possibility.  Don't let the simplicity you now know
through this model cause you to take short-cuts which
are unsuitable.

There you have it. A teachable point of view you can
use and pass on with your clients and customers.  I
hope it serves you as well as it has served my
leadership over the years.

Until next time, here's wishing you leadership success,

Mike R. Jay, Founder

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Russ Volckmann, PhD, shares his perspective on Integral

Monday, April 19, 3:30 p.m.

An important conceptual move is afoot. It shifts from
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The purpose of this telecourse is for you to develop a
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