“What we need is not more knowing, but more doing!”

Many years ago, Charles Schwab, CEO of the Bethlehem Steel Company was talking with a management consultant.  The consultant inferred to helping Schwab’s people gain more knowledge around managing.

Schwab issued the famous words “What we need around here is not more knowing, but more doing!  If you will help us to do the things we already know we ought to do, I’ll gladly pay you anything you ask!”

Like any smart consultant would do, he took Schwab up on his challenge.  “In 20 minutes, I’ll show you how to get your organization to do at least 50% more” the consultant said.

The advice he gave was as follows:

– Write down and prioritize your 5 most important tasks to complete in the next business day
– Put the list in your pocket until tomorrow when you will take it out and start working on number one
– Look at that item every 15 minutes until it’s done
– Then move on to the next and then the next
– Don’t be concerned if you only finish two or three or even one because you will be working on the most important things

Schwab, who was paid a million dollars per year by Andrew Carnegie for his abilities, said that this was the most profitable lesson he had ever learned.  What was it?  

The organization small or large that understands and executes on the power of focusing on priorities will progress and succeed.

Schwab paid the consultant $25,000 for this advice, which was A LOT of money at the time.  Especially for just a few minutes.  And there you have it for nothing!

Now you just need to do something with it.  If you need some help implementing, just call!



~adapted from “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish