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100 day plan with Group 8020: 79 days to go

On August 31st covering ,

This is the “Finding my 20%” phase. The process is starting to cook. It’s getting harder to write about, I think because it is pushing up against some things I’ve been resisting for a long time.

We’re getting into a crucial part of the program. The question “what is the 20% of your efforts that produce 80% of your results” is tough. I’m comfortable with the idea in the abstract, but when it comes down to it my reaction is “Now? You want me to decide now?” As a recovering graduate student, my impulse is to go read three more books.

The work we did in defining my goals and my background is really paying off. I found myself blurting things out that are obviously true as soon as I said them. My 20% is the core of what I’m about — the dense heart of a big nine-dimensional Venn diagram. At the intersection of my interests in group psychology, musicians, creative people, business, psychoanalysis, motivation and my skills in diagnosing and intervening — there’s the core of my project.

I have long struggled with whether to define myself as a music-biz guy (which is a little too limiting) or a business-consultant psychoanalyst guy (not wrong, but not exactly right either). I suddenly realized that the part I bring to the party is 90% the same in any situation, and I’m really interested in creative groups with human problems. This seems stunningly simple and clear.

It’s a scary point to confront because it inexorably leads to the realization that a bunch of things I want dearly to do — formal research, work on my book about the organizational psychodynamics of music ensembles, speaking at conferences — need to be shelved for right now. I don’t really want to shelve these things — but I also know that paradoxically if I shelve them for now they’ll probably get done sooner.

It’s also clear how the 8020 process works especially well for group projects like product launches — just as it’s helped me find the center of gravity of what I’m up to — it could be even more crucial to find the overlap in a group where people have differing interests and agendas.

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