The One Thing

Recently, I fell down a rabbit hole because of an Insider article on Snowflake's CEO, Frank Slootman. Following the links, I read a profile in Forbes and then a great interview with Jon Fortt and CNBC. There's one line that stood out to me in the CNBC interview, a question that Slottman asks everyone (or as CNBC put it, claims to ask everyone): 
“If you couldn’t do anything this year except for one thing — one thing and you couldn’t do anything else — what would that be?”
Now, apparently, my first response would not be the right one as it's to show what you would focus on, and is a hard question to answer. My first thought was, well, personal or professional? I have different answers for both, and my guess it would show that I am able to separate professional from personal (which isn't an easy thing for people to do, especially now working from home).


Personal would be to focus on health and exercise; like most people the pandemic has included weight gain. Prior to the shutdown last year, I was going to the gym a few times a week (except for some convalescent time). I had been consistent with weight training, Pilates and swimming. While I never get that endorphin rush or feeling - my trainer noted it was commendable that I still consistently came to the gym without getting that rush - yes, I stuck it out and would like to get back to it (and no, I don't like virtual training). 

Professional, that'd be a tougher question but I still would have an answer. What was noted in the article is that three things are easy to answer, but one thing is making a bet that you are making a bet on the right one thing. Yes, it's a hypothetical but being inside a company or organization, as a public relations/communications executive you know what the one thing should be, and needs to be. You know what the goals are and what the priorities are, and as a lead you should be adjusting the programs to support those needs. 

Whether that means focusing more on analyst relations, media relations, social media marketing, case studies ... really, the list can go on and on for a good comms person who can do all those things (cough, cue coming back to the age of the generalist). And in this hypothetical, it can't be a mix of all those things, it can only be focusing on one area - but you do that one and make sure that is being done best. And even in media relations, the answer could and should be more focused: is there a need for more trade press to help increase recognition in the space and sales, or should the focus be on business press to help tell the business side of the story for a SPAC or IPO. The list goes on and on.

Current job, yes I know what that one thing would be. By having that one thing in mind, it's a good idea to prioritize it while working on the two or three other things. 

So the question today is, what is that one thing you'd focus on? And if you're not focusing on it at work, why not?  
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