Greg McKeown says stop having priorities and have one priority – ICON15
- Jesse A. Millard
- On April 2, 2015
Photo contribution Thomas Hawthorne
Greg McKeown, New York Times best selling author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, packed a punch a ICON 15 with his powerful message about how having one priority is the key to success.
Entrepreneurs can typically be the type of person who will take on everything and make it all a priority. They’ll be up all night, after having said yes to everyone, and working with little help from anyone, but McKeown said that is the wrong way to success.
Trying to do everything at once only makes you marginally successful in a million different directions, McKeown said. But when you focus on just one task you’ll become exceptionally well and succeed in that one area, he said.
The word priorities, having more than one thing that is absolutely important to you, is a distraction, McKeown said.
“This is a part of the disease, when the idea is to just shove everything all in and say it’s all important,” McKeown said.
An entrepreneur needs to apply a philosophy of prioritizing one thing at a time and being picky about what you’re doing, McKeown said. And the more successful an entrepreneur becomes, the pickier they need to be at what they’re doing, he said.
McKeown warned against being a “yes-man” to everything . By example, email is very controlling and makes the receiver a victim of another person’s schedule. The surge of anxiety washing over a person when looking at email is too much because of how it’s just a long list of people telling you what to do.
Learn to strategize and be in control, he said. The best ways to prioritize and be an “Essentialist,” as McKeown calls it, is to find out what one is good at and work away at it for maximizing success.
Leadership is a great key to simplifying things, he said. Finding out what colleagues are best at and having them prioritizing on one skill is key too.
Remember: when being an entrepreneur, just focus on one thing at a time and stop having priorities, have just one.