If your boat is sinking, you do not care what direction it is going

I am a fan of David Allen, the author of “Getting Things Done,” and as such I subscribe to a newsletter he puts out every so often. The title of this post came from one of those newsletters and I thought it was so spot on, I had to “borrow” it.

I have written a couple of times about the scourge we have in HR where we are so obsessed over being seen as strategic business partners that we can often skirt the administrative and tactical aspects that so often entrench our roles as Human Resources Professionals. I certainly don’t look forward to typing all my notes at the conclusion of an investigation, for instance. Further, when I leave the organization, it is doubtful that my note-taking abilities is what I will be remembered for. Instead I would much rather be engaged in projects that will push the organization forward. Projects I am far more likely to be remembered for. But if my boat is being dragged under by the weight of these seemingly unimportant, tactical and administrative things – no one is going to care where I try and steer the thing. So, before you start trying to steer the ship, look for leaks – especially in your space, but help others as well and get them patched! Then join the captain and begin charting your course.

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