In the last post, we introduced the concept of systems-based self-mangement. I believe a systematic approach to self-management revolves around three key parameters;
In this post we're going to explore balance in more detail. In review, we said previously that balance can be described as;
Every well operating system is balanced. If any system, whether mechanical, electrical, celestial, etc. is unbalanced, it is also typically unstable. Unstable systems typically lead to failure. This failure can be gradual erosion in performance, a sudden breakdown or even a catastrophic event. Many systems that become unstable will not actually fail based on the instability, but they become more sensitive to other upsets, and when these occur, they fail as a result. Understanding the key parameters that keep a system balanced is an important.
I think when we look at this from our own complex system perspective, our life and work, we can most simply frame it as a question: Who Do We Work For? Simple question indeed, but the answers can go very deep and complex quickly. What constitutes balance in our own system will be a deeply personal answer that will depend on many different factors. The two most basic factors that will affect balance will be importance and timing.
Covey, in his outstanding tome First Things First, described the concept of importance and urgency. By understanding things that must be accomplished in the context of a quadrant of combined urgency and importance, we can balance our systematic approach to accomplishing our intended outcomes. It is essential to always keep the WHO in mind when we establish our intended outcomes. If we intend to serve a limited WHO, then we are more likely to be unbalanced. This imbalance will then likely throw off our sense of both urgency and importance. Ultimately this will lead to breakdowns by either an internal lack of satisfaction, or a significant failure in the other two major parameters; Priorities and Interactions. More on those in the next couple of posts.
So, Who do You work for? Do you have a clear sense of how your intended outcomes serve those who are important? Does your sense of importance and urgency align with your Whos? I look forward to comments.