In our last conversation, we talked about the News and the New.

If you need a refresh, have a look here  and then jump back in with us. I don’t mind waiting…

The idea captured in The News and the New is essential for us as leaders.

Whether that be you leading in the home, leading in the workplace, or leading an entire organisation. If your scope is a team, a small business, or leading yourself – or as is often the case, leading a mash-up of all those things in some sort of unique configuration!

Right now in this moment though, as they say in American football, take a knee. Give yourself and those around you the gift of a pause and some reflection. Let’s revisit the fundamental question we discussed last time.


What’s the One Thing I should be doing right now?


When we ask this question out loud, the world often throws a shopping list at us; a bunch of ‘stuff’ everybody thinks is vital to do.  It has the potential to overwhelm us, drown us. I have certainly been there….

Right now, in this current complexity, it is like the shopping list is on steroids. There is no shortage of ‘stuff’ being thrown at everyone from everywhere.  This can cause us to be distracted by so many competing and conflicted ideas, thoughts, suggestions, rules…… Noise!

Now, I’m not naive. Things are messy right now. The ‘old normal’ is gone, and the ‘new normal’ is on the way, soon. Right now though it’s in between, an interesting place Dr Seuss describes as the waiting place. We’ll talk about that place another day…..

Having come from the corporate world for a long time, and then running my own business for the last four years, I get just how loud this noise can be.


Times like now the noise is amplified, massively.


Life is like a crescendo of circumstances that ring in our ears, fill up our vision, and deafen all else.   Somewhere amongst all this, we need to make decisions.

Decisions that are important – decisions that matter.

This is why I use this practice of The One Thing. When the noise is the loudest, I put my virtual headphones on to quieten the moment, to think with all the things in front of me,

what is The One Thing I should be focusing on?

What is The One Thing that is the most useful thing I can be doing?

What is The One Thing that can have the most impact for where I or we stand right now?

In my book ‘Create the Shift‘, the first chapter talks about the delusion of balance. It goes into a conversation about the delusion of work/life balance. While that particular conversation right now is less important, what the book does is go into is an exploration of the different elements of life that I believe work together to make us a ‘whole person’.

The model below is from the book. It allows us to think through the different elements of life, think about what the most important thing is right now… either the one thing that is paramount for me of all six elements or one thing for each of the six elements.

Have a think right now…. Whether using this model as a frame, or your current context;

What is the one thing you need to focus on, right now.

So now you have that in mind, let’s go deeper.

I use three simple questions to help me frame and move forward when I work with The One Thing.

1. Where am I? – Base

2. Where do I want to be? – Outcome

3. How do I get there? – Action

Have a think right now…. Whether using this model as a frame, or your current context;
This process of BOA constricts my thinking to where it needs to be.

It shuts all else out. It focuses me.

Then I do The One Thing. I take action to begin the journey to where I want to be.

My advice to you would be to use these three questions, the BOA, whenever you start to feel like things are getting out of control, in big or small ways.

These three questions empower you to start creating your life, rather than letting life simply happen to you.

Doing The One Thing allows you to move forward, allows you, your organisation, your family to move forward, forward in a considered way, and not in a way that is reacting from fear.

The One Thing allows you to act not from a place of fight or flight, but to choose what is right.

Solving the problems that hold organisations and their people back

Be better.

You know your organisation can be.  Better at knowing your people and getting the best from them – making you more capable, more profitable and more responsible.

The Deering Group opened in 2016 to help organisations to better understand what their people do and how they can help them improve their work and their roles.

We help make businesses better through their people.  We get the job done with expertise in Executive Leadership, Learning and Development, Training and Competency, Operations Management, Technical Writing, Quality Control and Governance.

We have decades of collective experience across the resource sectors, defence, healthcare and hospitality.  We have offices in Brisbane and Perth – and team members across metropolitan and rural Australia.  We work flexibly – on-site or virtually to make it easier for you to be better.