It’s a Dog’s Life: Mistaking motion for progress

Everything I know about business, I learned from my dog Star.

Star hasn’t  made an appearance on this blog lately. I was attributing it to the dog days of summer but — now that September is half over — I have to reconsider.

The real reason is laziness. Once you break a routine, it’s hard  to get back on track. 

For Star too. During her latest trip to the vet she weighed in at 99 pounds. This after the vet had told us 91 pounds was borderline overweight.

I call her fat. My husband insists she’s just “big boned.” Either way, it’s time to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.

We’ve been pretty defensive about it. We do a lot with our dog. We take her to the dog park. The neighborhood “pack” regularly runs wild. She goes to work with my husband most days, and we take her with us whenever possible on the weekends. She is not neglected.

Granted, we used to get up every morning and take a three mile walk to the beach and back. Because of our schedules, we maybe do that once every couple of weeks, but still… We do a lot.

The problem is that she does not have a disciplined approach to staying trim. We equate all her moment for exercise, which it is not. There is motion but no progress.

In trying to come up with a relevant topic for the blog this week, I started thinking about my clients — what is working for them and what is not. I realize this problem of mistaking motion for progress is universal, particularly at this time of year when the clock for measuring results is ticking faster and faster.

So the question of the day is this: Is your firm moving or is it progressing?

We all need to look at what we are doing. Are our efforts to build strong organizations and develop new business something we are doing in a consistent, disciplined way or are we just making motion so we can check a box and feel like something has been accomplished. I’m taking Friday to figure that out and reset my priorities.

But first I’m going to take Star for a walk.

Posted on September 17, 2010 in It's a Dog's Life

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