Do I have to choose? Both and v either or

You have got two – or even three – different urgent priorities. All are important, all are worth doing. Which do you choose?

Common wisdom says you have to prioritise. However,  there is a good argument for doing all of them. Why do I say that? 

Reason 1 – The football manager analogy.  A little while back we began to talk about the need to add staff to our team. People began to focus on their preferred worker, a youth worker, children’s and families worker, associate pastor or exec pastor. All had their preferences. Partly, that’s because we all have our biases. I look for someone to share the load for me, our children ‘s work team see an opportunity we are missing, etc. The risk is that we end up arguing over priorities and we dig our feet in for our candidate to win because we see it in terms of 1 addition to a team. We changed our thinking. We realised that all of those areas were important and we needed workers in them. Now, it’s more like the football manager at the start of the season, building his squad from scratch. Ask them if they want a goalkeeper or a striker first and they will look at you as though you are silly ” I need both” they answer. So what they start doing is looking for both. Which one do they sign first? Answer, the one that becomes available first.

Reason 2 – experience. In 2012, we set out with a three pronged strategy, to acquire and renovate what is now our community hub building, to find a way of bringing in trainees to work with us ( initially through OM teams) and  to start multiplying services. We had to work hard to stop ourselves from thinking about each one as an option in competition with the others because they were all linked together and together they provided the embryonic basis for our ActBC initiative: love, train, plant.

Reaon 3 – it gets you thinking about how much something really matters. How often have you heard someone say ” We can’t do x because it might stop us doing y” and then you’ve found that y was never realistically on the table anyway? All they really meant was” We don’t like x much but can’t find a polite way to say so.” Annoying isn’t it. So by saying Let’s do all of them.” We are pushing ourselves to be honest about how big a priority these things really are.

If possible I’d rather work with both and than either or.


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