For the life of me I can’t remember if I first read of it in Covey’s 7 Habits, or the Covey Time Management book “First Things First“, but I’ve always loved the analogy of The Wrong Ladder.
So many times in life you are working as hard as you can but eventually you start to go off track in regards to your ultimate goal. You are climbing the ladder as fast as you can, faster than the competition, only to realize the ladder is up against the wrong building. This ties into beginning with the end in mind, one of Covey’s habits – you have to start from your ultimate goal and work backwards. Otherwise you might find yourself at the top of the wrong ladder.
The ladder has many implications. If you can convince your competition to climb the wrong ladder you may not have to climb at a pace that will cost you your marriage, children, whatever.
The holiday break is a great time for a strategy check. If you have not read 7 Habits, that’s the best advice I can give you. Otherwise, stop worrying about the next rung and make sure your ladder is leaning on the right building.