“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’”
– Dr. Stephen Covey
This quote appeared in my inbox this morning as a “thought starter.” How appropriate to start the day thinking about priorities! There are two very important thoughts in these few sentences.
The idea of being almost obsessive with our priorities is not, of course, new. Tom Peters coined a descriptive term some years ago–a “monomaniac with a mission.” In just a few words we see the accomplishment value of one person with one mission. We’ve all seen it in action. You get one person who has real passion and purpose, get her focused and there’s really no stopping her. These people become the heroes of our society–assuming, of course, their mission is positive!
The second thought in this quote is the idea that the enemy of “best” is often “good.” How many times have we found ourselves saying something is “good enough” or “close enough?” In Maine we have a rather colorful expression to describe it.
“A blind man on a galloping horse will never notice…”
I suppose it creates perspective. But at the same time it’s really saying “that’s pretty bad. The only person who won’t notice is blind and going by pretty fast.”
While any project or passion requires practicality, we really ought to guard against the “good enough” mentality because Covey is right. Good can be the enemy of best.
Occasionally I’ll encounter an adult student who seems to merit a nickname and some gentle teasing at the start of class. “And how is my little overachiever today?” But that student knows it’s not such a bad label and it’s a bit unfortunate that our system implies over-achievers are placing too much stress on themselves. There is a balance in all of this, but I’ll take a class of over-achievers before a class of “how can I squeak by” students any day.
So we need to think about our “yes’s” and our “no’s.” And we need to be careful when we start saying “yes” to good because it might mean we are saying “no” to our best.
Many professions include a continuing education requirement… in spite of studies that clearly demonstrate that required education is often not especially effective. As an instructor of real estate courses, I often see first hand the difference between students fulfilling the requirement and those who truly want to learn.
A fellow instructor from Arizona saw that difference dramatically in a course he was teaching and reported the story in a recent Real Estate Educators Association Newsletter. A broker in his class reported that his agents are getting as much as ten times the required education. The instructor wondered if perhaps they were spending too much time learning and not enough time selling. The ensuing dialog was precious.
The broker reported that their sales closure rate is 100% and added this explanation:
We ask our agents to make a list of all the educational classes they have attended. We start the listing presentation by reviewing them with the client. We tell the client that we have spent a significant amount of time in class prior to meeting them so that we could be one of the most educated, prepared and skilled agents they ever met. Then we tell the client it doesn’t matter if they hire us, just don’t hire someone with less education.
How can you not love that?
To access the complete article, visit the Arizona Realtor Association Blog.
We have a few people interested in starting an informal group of people who’d like to hone their public speaking skills… no dues, no structure… just an occasional get together that allows us to “practice” speaking in front of a non-threatening group and receive constructive feedback. We’re betting some of the presentations will be pretty interesting too! We’re finishing up a public speaking class on Tuesday April 17th and those who think they might be interested in something like this are invited/encouraged to attend the class. We’ll start at 6:30 PM at the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative Center on Morton Avenue. Prepared speeches aren’t required, but if you bring one we’ll listen! Any questions, send me an email or give me a call at 343-1842
Mental patterns and routines allow us to take in, categorize and handle great amounts of information, but they also account for most of our “stupid mistakes.” With awareness, we can manage the process and increase mental flexibility. After experiencing first-hand the flexibility and potential of the mind, participants learn how they can develop important mental skills such as fact-finding, problem-solving, and “happying.”
Sign up for this class and get a new brain! Class is scheduled for next week–Thursday, April 12 at SeDoMoCha in Dover Foxcroft from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM. Call 564-6525 to register!
You may be making news, but is it news if nobody knows about it? This class will explore the basics of “getting the word out” through approaches that work for small businesses and non-profit organizations Participants will learn the how’s and why’s of getting a story in print or on television and take home samples of formats as well as a number of tip for maximizing their business or organization’s exposure in the press.
This course is coming up fast… runs Tuesday, April 10th at SeDoMoCha in Dover Foxcroft from 6:30 PM until 8:30 PM. Call 564-6525 and reserve your spot!