Remember What’s Important

I was catching up with a mentor earlier this week, and she gave me obvious, but easily forgotten advice: remember to connect your work to bottom line results.

I work in a large healthcare services organization. I work on projects that are not directly connected to the bottom line–things like the development of our team, the experience of our customers, and the culture we create. Great organizations prioritize these sorts of initiatives. But, like many things in life, because they are tough to measure, they are easy to forget.

In business, the returns of the enterprise are the most important thing. The owners of the company think about returns–so, I must understand and share how my work connects to the business performance.

In life, relationships are most important. So I should know what moments and actions of mine build up and reinforce the relationships that matter most. And I should be more intentional about those.

Here’s how I’m thinking about it.

  • Understand the relationship: I need to be able to diagram the relationship between my actions and the key result for the most important stakeholders. For work, that’s the profitability of the company. At home, it’s my family’s relationship with me.
  • Define the metrics: I should know what can be easily measured, both for my own actions, and the overall result I’m working towards.
  • Estimate the impact: For work, I can write down assumptions and create a spreadsheet with a clear bottom line number. At home, I think it’s this–would we all say, for this season in our lives, that we’re living the life that we want? Priorities and joy change over time, but are we doing, at this point, the things we think matter most?
  • Create a rhythm: I should put on the calendar to revisit this framework, and the actions that it directs. Monthly for the actions, annually for the framework.
  • Build perspective: Write down what I find, so I can revisit it and recall where I was.

So, today, I’m using these ideas to remember and connect with what’s most important. Stay encouraged and have a great day!

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