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  • Ship, Shipmates, Self

    Ship. Shipmates. Self. I thought about these three words for a while and can see why the U.S. Navy uses them to set priorities.

    A simple motto, you say. Yet much harder to follow.

    I was meeting with a friend the other day and he mentioned these three simple words for setting priorities. He had heard these from an admiral while he was serving the U.S. Navy.

    I thought about these three words for a while and can see why the U.S. Navy and the admiral use them to set priorities.

    Priorities are there for a reason.

    If all three aren’t in balance, you have a problem.

    However, if the ship is not taken care of first there will be no shipmates or self. Of course, self-preservation has its place too. Yet, self-preservation takes a back seat to the duty and honor of supporting your shipmates and the ship itself.

    Apply these three words to your daily life.

    When interviewing or thinking about extending your career, these three words can help define and describe what you should be thinking about as you seek to build your career, the careers of your colleagues, and that of your business.

    Where self, shipmates, and ship can be used in reverse order to set priorities. This is true in entrepreneurial environments and large companies.

    Time for a reality check.

    The U.S. Navy is a huge organization with thousands of men and women serving all over the world and supporting hundreds of ships…and these three words seem to work quite well for them.

    Pause long enough to run this simple, three-word analysis.

    In conclusion, the next time you are planning and thinking about what you should be doing next, take a few minutes to think about these three words.

    • Think about how you can make sure all is right with the ship first.
    • Then make sure all is right with your shipmates.
    • Then think about yourself.

    Seek to find a balance across all three. Make sure you have your priorities right so that all three can succeed.

    Jeff is an expert in the Enterprise Content Management industry. He brings over 20 years of Channel Sales, Partner Marketing and Alliance expertise to audiences around the world in speaking engagements and via his writing. He has worked for Microsoft, Kodak, and K2. He is currently consulting with Microsoft and partners to drive Community Engagement and Alliances. Follow him on Twitter @jshuey or on LinkedIn: in/JeffShuey

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