Diverging arrows.So many choices.
So many options.
How can you decide which of them to choose?
It’s always fascinating to watch people caught in the grip of choice and options. You see them hesitate, pondering the pros and cons of each. Landing on one, then wondering if the other one is better. Then flipping back to the first one – but then pausing again as if the wait will bring more insight.
Sometimes the wait pays off. Often it doesn’t.
Have you ever been out for a meal where someone in your party just can’t decide what to order? It’s a genuine and sincere struggle that finds them trying to secure the best choice and avoid disappointment.
Choices and options – what to do with them?
Then there’s focus, where no options or choices are considered – where the successful path taken before is the only path now. Don’t waste time. Focus. Get going. There’s no time to waste.
There are a lot of benefits to focus. But focus can lead to rigidity, which is a perfect place for options and choices to be lost.
How should you handle focus and choices in major gifts work? There are a lot of voices out there, some from “experts.” Others are authority figures who are convinced their idea is the best route to take. And still others claim that their new idea will deliver the success you seek.
What should you do?
Jeff and I suggest you select choices and options within the context of your work objective. In order to stay properly focused, ask yourself, daily, what your objective is. Your answer should be simple and to the point: “To secure net revenue for the organization’s programs, and to satisfy my donors’ passions and interests.” (Tweet it!)
That’s it. Don’t let anyone, especially authority figures, tell you there is something else that’s more important. There isn’t. And once you have a fix on what you should be doing, keep reminding yourself that you can’t effectively secure net revenue without serving your donor’s passions and interests. If you try to do that, you’ll run the risk of making the wrong choices.
Just ask yourself that question. Then organize your day to do it. And keep yourself disciplined around the choices and options you’ll face during the day – the ones in your own mind and those originating from others – just deal with them by asking yourself “will this get me to the objective of securing net revenue and fulfilling my donors’ passions and interests?” If not, ignore the option and choice before you, and consider a different path.
There’s not a winner or loser in the battle of focus and choice. But there is a sequencing and order to things that helps you toggle between them. Watch that you keep that balance.