Being A Wreckless Ringmaster

Susan Arnold was the first person to lead a global business unit at Proctor and Gamble. In an interview she made a powerful statement: Leaders who don't set priorities can burn out their organization.

When I read her statement I got the picture of a ringmaster running wildly around the rings, shoving one act into a ring only to pull it a few minutes later because they think another one will work better. They just keep performers moving in and out of the rings and rarely take time to discuss the "Why" behind the "What." Performers aren't working at their best, and the audience is certainly not pleased with what they are seeing.

If you are a leader or manager, take this test to see how you're doing communicating what's important to your team. Imagine that a complete stranger were to ask each employee to list the top three priorities they see of the organization-and how their current work correlates with it. What would the results tell you?