November 13, 2009

You think you're doing a good job, but you're not

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Is this you?

You're very busy. You're running your business, writing a book, traveling to speak at conferences and trainings, living your life in the cracks between business engagements and trying to find two minutes in the day to breathe.

You believe that you do everything well, even when you're rushed and stressed, because you get good evaluations and you're invited back.

You created a PowerPoint presentation for a prestigious conference, mostly cut and pasted from other presentations you've done in the past, sent it in a month or two ago because they required it, and you haven't looked at it since. Your presentation is next week.

You start to go over the presentation and realize that there are a lot of errors, inconsistent fonts and colors, slides in the wrong order, too many slides for the length of your talk, and general disarray. You realize that your assistant didn't do a very good job of editing, but you never proofread the final draft.

How do you know this? Because you called me at the last minute to help you finalize your presentation.

If you didn't call me and clean up some of the mess, you just got on a plane with a haphazardly thrown together presentation that you haven't practiced and might not even make any sense.

Is this you?

Guess what: You can't do good work if you don't prioritize. You can't give a good presentation if you haven't put one together in the first place. Your audience can't grasp and internalize your message if it's scattered about like pollen on a windy day.

You think you're doing a good job, but I imagine all of your projects are suffering in one way or another because of your inability or unwillingness to slow down and focus on what needs to be done, done well, right now.

You think you're doing a good job, but you're not. Believe me.

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