Which one do you spend more time chasing…mice, or elephants?
Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically. Mice represent the small details, interesting diversions from the real questions, symptoms instead of root causes, etc. Elephants are the big strategic decisions, the tough questions, the root causes.
When budgeting for expenses (whether at home, or at work), do you spend a lot of time comparing the cost of paper clips between two vendors? Do you worry about the cost of an additional travel day associated with attending a trade show, or the strategic benefit of attending the show in the first place?
Do you worry about the cost differences for toner and paper, or consider ways to modify your processes and eliminate the use of paper-based documents?
How often have you been in a disagreement with a friend, relative, colleague, or spouse over a “mouse” issue, and let that disagreement mask one or more “elephant” issues? The mouse issue may seem worthy of all the effort, but rarely is.
Chasing mice while the elephants run free is almost always a bad idea. It wastes energy, and our most important commodity, time.
Better to chase more elephants.