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Two reasons to attack critical issues first.

There are two reasons to consider reordering your priorities to attack your most critical issues first, before the easiest ones to knock off the list.

First, you are fresher at the start of a day, and your best efforts should come when you are best prepared to address these issues.  Remember how easy it is to put off those final decisions at the end of a tiring and long day?

But the real reason to do this is to allow most everything else to fall into place, once the critical issues are worked out.  It’s true in every business, all the time.

[Email readers, continue here…] Take for example, solving key technology problems that Managing_forceprevent a product from shipment, or from scaling to large production.  If sudden demand for a product takes management by surprise, having solved these key issues will remove the key barrier to ramping production and taking advantage of the opportunity.

In a young company, the key issue is most often finding the way to start the revenue flowing from services and sales.  With enough revenues, the young company can more easily raise equity funds, borrow money, hire top talent, and gain valuable publicity.

Next, a critical key issue is finding the way to break-even for a young business – the proxy for stability.  Working on that issue alone can drain a CEO, given its many incarnations – in marketing, sales, finding efficiencies, cutting efforts that are of lesser value, and more.

Hire key talent to develop the product, to create a manufacturing line, establish distribution channels, to organize the sales effort, and you will find that many other less important issues resolve themselves or fall into place, much less important than before the critical issues had been resolved.

  • Bob Kelley of ABL

    Dave, a very important issue, and very powerful insight for dealing with anything new: new product, new job, new market, and, of course, a new business. Also points up one of the benefits of working with a “smart team” (internal talent, board members, and other advisory people and groups) who can often help you to recognize the most critical issues when you’re dealing with too many issues at the same time.

  • Great tips Dave. This reminds me of Covey’s “big rocks first” lesson. Thank you!

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