What ties did you break this week?

I loved this piece by Justin Bariso on Inc.com, where he explores Sundar Pichai’s learnings from his mentor, Bill Campbell (the football coach turned Business Coach). It highlights the one question that Bill asked Sundar repeatedly, which consequently changed the way the latter leads. 

What was this question? “What ties did you break this week?” Bill isn’t talking about breaking ties, as in cutting off relationships. But breaking stalemates or situations (in an argument) in which neither side can win or make any progress. 

It helped Sundar pause, reflect, and then say this: 

1. Prioritise the people whom he wanted to please. You can please them all, and trying to do it is a waste of time, energy, and focus. 

2. Pursuing progress instead of seeking perfection because the latter almost always slows progress down. The most outstanding achievements that we know of were based on a foundation of progress, not perfection. 

3. Don’t forget to see the “big picture” — get a 30,000-foot-view or stay locked into the horizons of focus to help guide your decisions. It’s too damn easy to get lost into the thick of thin things. 

Simple and profound. But can you put it to good use? 

If yes, how? If not, ask yourself, “what ties did I break this week?” 

Because leadership is all about moving this forward. 

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