Are your ducks in a row?

Over the last few weeks, I have heard several people say they were getting their ducks in a row. I think that is another way of saying they are getting things in order.

Nikki is the managing broker of a real estate office in Houston, Texas. She shared an interesting twist on that phrase with me. Someone recently asked her if her ducks were in a row. Being the talented and effective leader that she is, she replied, “of course they are!” The follow up question is what got her. The person asked, “Are they all your ducks?” That is a great question. Upon further reflection, she realized many were NOT hers.

Now, more than ever, it is important to focus only on those things that are really relevant and over which we have some influence or impact. We often get caught up in things that are not particularly useful to us – other people’s issues, problems, drama, etc.

This month I encourage you to step back and ask yourself if you are involved in things at work or at home that are not yours to be involved in. Maybe you are actively in the middle of some project at work that is not really yours to be concerned about. Maybe you are up to your neck in some family drama that your participation only complicates.

Here are some ways to make sure YOUR ducks are in a row:

1. Evaluate to what extent your participation in ‘X’ adds value. (You may have to ask.)
2. Determine the amount of energy you can afford to invest.
3. Be specific about what you are willing to do and not to do. Appropriate boundaries lead to good decision-making.
4. Carefully consider what’s in it for you. Nobody does ANYTHING unless there is something in it for them.
5. As soon as you see that this is not your duck get out or readjust your course.


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