From my Files: Priorities

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I try to post a quote for every day on something related to leadership or personal growth. I love sharing those quotes from my personal files, but I don’t always like the 140-character limit. Lately I’ve been sharing about priorities on Twitter. But I’ve had to skip some of my favorite quotes because they’re too long. Because I think they’re still very valuable, I’m sharing them here:

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 you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.”
~ Stephen Covey

Concentration is the key to economic results. No other principle of effectiveness is violated as constantly today as the basic principle of concentration…. Our motto seems to be, “Let’s do a little bit of everything.”
~ Peter Drucker

I soon learned how to scent out that which was able to lead to fundamentals and to turn aside everything else, from the multitude of things that clutter up the mind and divert it from the essential.
~ Albert Einstein

Most of us lead busy, but undisciplined lives. We have ever expanding “to do” lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who build the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of “stop doing” lists as the “to do” lists. They displayed a remarkable amount of discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk… they displayed remarkable courage to channel their resources into only one or a few arenas.
~ Jim Collins, Good to Great

It’s important not to run on the fast track, but on YOUR track. Pretend you have only six months to live, and make three lists: the things you HAVE to do, WANT to do, and neither have to do nor want to do. Then, for the rest of your life, forget everything on the third list.
~ Robert Eliot

The difference between leaders and managers: Managers have as their goal to do things right. Leaders have as their goal to do the right thing.
~ Warren Buffett

Control your own time. Don’t let it be done for you. If you are working off the in-box that is fed to you, you are probably working on the priority of others.
~ Donald Rumsfeld

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