…today’s secret…Tyranny of the Urgent.

You might not like my thoughts today. Here goes…

You help the marginalized become unmarginalized. All good.

You give the lost a leg up in life. Your program helps people find work, become better educated, become substance free and/or mentally stable. You counsel them in their relationships. You may even be the one to introduce them to God.

Again, all good.

Enter the tyranny of the urgent…

Much has been written about the tyranny of the urgent, where there is just too much to do and too little time to do it.

Tyranny of the Urgent Club members are addicted to their smartphones. They spend the bulk of their day racing around handling emergencies, constant demands, and urgent distratctions. Priorities get jumbled and what needs to get done doesn’t.

Here’s the ‘tyranny trap’ helping organizations fall into.

The urgent crowds out the important altogether.

The organization’s program becomes the main focus to develop people. Busyness gets equated with importance. Metrics measure program management.

It becomes easy to forget that programs don’t develop people, people do. The tyranny of the urgent outcome is less people development and more program management.

Stay with me.

You chose your program because it helps people grow. However, your program is not what develops people. Your program is the umbrella under which people develop people.

Deep down, the people you are helping want more than the program you are offering, even if they can’t or won’t identify it, even if they sometimes resist what you give.

Here are twelve questions they really want answered:

Who am I, really?
Where do I find my truest self?
How should I live in today’s world?
Do my choices matter?
Am I loved?
Who are my friends?
Does anybody care about me?
Does my life matter?
Am I made for something?
Can I make a difference?
What really matters?
what counts for a life well lived?

Every helping organization needs at least one person in the organization who knows their organization’s playbook focuses on their people, not their program.

Every helping organization needs this one person to step forward, practice what they know, and share with others why they are really there. Hopefully, the word will spread…

Are you this one person in your organization? Or, are you tyrannied urgent?

There. Got that off my chest. Thanks.