Saturday, February 13, 2010

Multiple #1 Priorities

I just ran across a job description that had as one of its requirements

- Ability to handle multiple number one priorities simultaneously.

Really?  Did the person who wrote this job description not understand how this is quite literally impossible.  Now I understand what the intent of this requirement is.  There are often times that you have to try and correctly handle a situation where everything seems important and nothing can be dropped.

But one things is for certain, when push comes to shove there can only be one #1 priority.  It is something that most people just can't deal with because they refuse to or don't understand how to prioritize.  The more I work, the more I realize just how rare a skill it is to find someone who can correctly prioritize.

I fail to see how anyone, especially in upper management, can not know how to prioritize.  It comes so easy for me.  If you ask me to, I can almost always stack rank a list of things.  Want to know who my best employee is, no problem.  Want to know the most important thing about investing, its reaearch (followed by patience).  Perhaps the only thing that you might not be able to stack rank is which of your children are your favorite (although I bet a lot of people could actually do this)

I run into this problem constantly at work.  People don't seem to understand that there are trade offs at work.  When faced with having to make one, these people seem to prefer not making one and letting the outcome be random rather than make a conscious choice to try and prioritize correctly.

Just this one requirement would make me not apply to a job.  It clearly shows me that at some point you would be faced with a lose-lose situation when something had to give and yet nobody would be willing to make the call.

1 comment:

  1. Another favorite of mine from a recent job ad I saw was "We want someone who doesn't think that good-enough is ever good-enough." Ummm... right.