The Compass and the Clock

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The Compass and the Clock

I love the water. I love being in it and on it. But, I have no desire whatsoever to go on a cruise and spend days and nights crossing an ocean. Part of that is because I’m afraid of what’s underneath the surface that I can’t see – a submerged reef or a gigantic beast.

A friend of mine enjoyed a long career on a fishing boat, traveling back-and-forth from Northern Canada to Southern California. He tells the story that, if all the electronic systems on board the ship were to fail for whatever reason, the only two instruments left, and the most important, are the compass and the clock – the clock to guide what you’re doing, and the compass to guide where you’re going.

But, all the automation we can create cannot distract us from keeping our eyes on the compass and the clock. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to keep you focused, and the implication is that the answers to these questions will determine your daily activity.

Compass Questions

  • Where are we going with the business, the product, and our people?
  • Are we doing the right things with our products, people, and clients?

Clock Questions

  • Are we doing things – processes and development – the right way?
  • Are we on track – timing and objectives – with what we’re doing?

Stephen Pasiciel