Staying focused on the hard stuff

This quote is from Mike Scott, President of Apple Inc in the late 1970s when the company was still tiny.  He was reflecting on how they all worked together in those early years.

When you’re working on the big topics which you don’t know all the answers to, it’s easy to switch to something else really teeny that everyone can get their teeth into.

Too right.  Realising when you are indulging in a bit of displacement activity and switching back to the most important tasks is one of the keys to being personally effective.

I got this quote from Mike Morritz’s history of Apple, Return to the Little Kingdom, which also tells us that Steve Job’s personal cure for relieving fatigue was to massage his feet in the flush of a toilet bowl!

  • Although it might seem I'm on a mission today (I'm not) – surely this applies in equal measure to investors?

  • I think when you hit the brick wall on the big issues it's really good to tap into your advisory board (if you have one). Alternatively, tap into your independent NEDs (if you have them).

    All the more reason for companies to ensure they have a board which is not controlled by one CEO who is also Chairman (as they so often are in the US) and with some real “independent NEDs” on board, rather than just the investor NEDs who sit on the boards. All too often companies don't get there board structure right.

  • Absolutely. I think this applies to every walk of life

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