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Driving Blind

I catch about 15 minutes of the ABC News Breakfast show every morning and today there was a segment on looking at your mobile phone while driving. It was for the launch of a new commercial called Driving Blind, which was created by the Transport Accident Commission. The first line is “A glance at your phone is the same as this”, while showing what is depicted in the picture I added. That line is followed by, “When you’re on your phone you’re driving blind.” It is a pretty powerful message and I do not think that there would be a business owner/manager who would argue the logic. I really do not mean to diminish the message but how does this not apply to business? The implication is that you can’t see where you are going if you are being distracted yet how many business owners and leaders, work distracted?


I wrote a book review this week on Cal Newport’s, Deep Work. It is a great book about working without distractions. Derek Sivers said, “In a world of distraction, single-tasking is a superpower.” Henry David Thoreau said, “Those who work much, do not work hard”. The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule suggests that most work is low value. Zig Ziglar speaks about you being asked to go on an all-expense-paid, spectacular holiday with one days’ notice. He said that you would respond ‘Yes’, and that you would make a list, and, on that day, you would get more done than you would normally get done in three or four days, just so you can go on the free spectacular holiday. He then asks why you don’t make every day, the day before a free spectacular holiday.


I dedicate half of my book to the subject of a Corporate held Emotional Quotient (ChEQ). Hence the name ChEQmate. The emotional intelligent component of self-awareness can be applied to businesses. Are we self-aware enough to determine if we are truly doing the best that we can for the company, or are we goal orientated, are both self-awareness questions.


I hear from business owners and CEO’s who say they do not have time to work on the business, to work on long term goals, or to work on strategy but…are they on their phones? Do they respond to every email, to every text and phone call? Do they disconnect from all distractions for 90 minutes a day? Clearly, I will get furious agreement that driving a car and looking at your phone is ridiculous behaviour, but so is allowing yourself or your team to be distracted at work and not focusing on what is really important on a daily basis: strategy.


What you measure and what you focus on, grows. The best companies stay shockingly focused on big things. Albert Einstein said that “Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it, he who doesn’t pays it.” Focusing on major items, broken down to one task at a time, small, incremental, daily actions in business and on strategy execution, is compound interest. Those who understand this will win, those who don’t, will lose - ChEQmate.



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