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Escaping the Tyranny of the Day-to-Day: How to achieve focus in life and in business

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Topics Covered

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What is urgent, and what can wait?

The average American spends nearly six hours a day on digital media, mostly on mobile. We’re lucky if we sleep as much as we type, text, and tweet. These seductive distractions of the here and now commandeer our attention, control our thinking, and scatter our efforts. How do we decide what is urgent, and what can wait?

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Develop a strategy

The starting point is to develop a shared understanding of what strategy is and what it must deliver for an organization. Strategy is about making choices on how an organization will concentrate its scarce resources in order to achieve competitive advantage. It requires answers to three fundamental questions.


top line: strive for unity of action

To achieve unity of action, the sum of a company’s actions must cascade from these choices so that all of its constituent parts are acting in concert. The heart of a company’s strategy is its winning proposition — the unique difference in its offering that provides a compelling reason for customers to choose it over its competitors.

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Columbia Business School is the only Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets real-time exposure to the pulse of business, developing leaders with the knowledge and instinct to make a powerful impact on the world. As the only top Ivy League business school immersed in the global business hub that is New York City, we offer students unparalleled access to leaders from across industries — in the classroom, throughout the city, and around the globe.

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