17. The Law of Priorities

The Law of Priorities: Leaders Understand that Activity is not Necessarily Accomplishment

Man! We hear this all the time! Activity doesn’t necessarily mean productivity. We not only have to be efficient with our time, but we have to be effective too!

First, when we are busy, we naturally believe that we are achieving. But busyness does not equal productivity. Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Second, prioritizing requires leaders to continually think ahead, to know what’s important, to know what’s next, to see how everything relates to the overall vision. That’s hard work. Third, prioritizing causes us to do things that are at the least uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful. p. 207

But leadership has nothing to do with comfort and everything to do with progress. p. 208

“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” p. 209

  1. What is required?- What must I do that nobody can or should do for me?… If I’m doing something that’s not necessary, I should eliminate it. If I’m doing something that’s necessary but not required of me personally, I need to delegate it.
  2. What gives the greatest return?- As a leader, you should spend most of your time work in your areas of greatest strength. Ideally, leaders should get out of their comfort zone and get in their strength zone. Just because you can do something does not mean you should do do it.
  3. What brings the greatest reward?- Life is too short not to do some things you love. And passion provides the fuel in a person’s life to keep him going. p. 211

We are presented with several anecdotes about the author’s act of re-prioritizing by moving his company, selling his company, and structuring his schedule around his strengths and most rewarding experiences. The CEO of GE sold several parts of the business in order to focus on the ones that they did best.  We finally hear how John Wooden took the college basketball team he coached to an unprecedented number of winning seasons and championships by prioritizing and strategizing ahead of time and using every second of practice to bring out the potential in each player.


  1. I’m not sure if there’s anything in my life that is working so poorly that I need a major revision. I am working on my time management, consistency, and integrity. I have been eating better and at least doing push-ups. I’m still fighting procrastination. I’m not sure.
  2. This was actually a cool activity. On a piece of paper, I wrote down things that I feel I had to do, things that would bring the most benefit in the future, and things that I truly enjoyed. I don’t do much outside those areas.
  3. I will start prioritizing my day on the night before and will plan out the next month on the last week of the month.

About Ernest Levert Jr.

Aspiring Servant-Leader studying engineering principles, financial stewardship, business management, and psychology fundamentals in order to cultivate passionate leadership, disseminate positive energy, uplift the community and ultimately create a brighter future for generations to come.
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