RSS Is Your Hair on Fire?

Have you ever been around people who seem to have a sense of urgency about everything? I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe that every priority is of an urgent nature. Yet, I see people every day who are terribly stressed by circumstances, often out of their control.

There are times in all of our lives when things don’t go as planned. This tends to have a very debilitating effect on our mental health, and can undermine our confidence in our ability to control future events. Often, our mental resolve is weakened and causes us to elevate the urgency of things we desire most. During these times, I find my “wants” are elevated to the status of “needs.”

As I write this, I recall a time early in my career when I had to be coached about this very thing. I believed additional staff just had to be hired in order to achieve a specific objective.  What I learned through coaching was two very important lessons.

  1. My objective was a “goal” and not a “must-have.” My organization was not going to blow up if the goal wasn’t met. I was taking ownership of the goal to such a degree as to create the impression that my hair was on fire – not at all appropriate for someone new to a supervisory role!
  2. I needed to trust the team to deliver on desired results. The fact that I wanted to add more members to our team made my existing employees feel unworthy of achieving the goal. This is not the way a leader inspires confidence.

Our psyche has a very powerful effect on both our priorities and our ability to distinguish between wants and needs. It’s not unlike the psyche of people who purchase things they cannot afford, simply because they elevated a “want” to a “need.” A great example is those who want to “keep up with the Joneses.”

Now, it is absolutely okay – even imperative – to create a sense of urgency around our most critically important goals. However, don’t go so far as to think that every goal is equally important; they aren’t. Focus is the key, both in terms of your motivations and your priorities!


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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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