Opportunity Cost and Priorities For Leaders & Coaches

Opportunity Cost and Priorities

Opportunity cost is the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

Opportunity cost is primarily used in the world of economics. I want to use it in the world of coaching and leadership for this post…specifically for priorities.

In laymen’s terms, opportunity cost is the potential benefit or ‘cost’ you lose out on by choosing one thing over the other.

Let’s talk prioritities.

It is really important that you have clear priorities. If you have 7 priorities, you probably have zero.

As a good friend of mine repeatedly says “Leadership is the constant exercise in prioritization.”

So the reality is when you spend time talking to your team or staff about X, Y, Z, you are missing out on talking about A, B, C.

This is where opportunity cost comes into play.

For example…If you are going to spend your time talking about these three priorities in your program…
+ the importance of the classroom
+ getting 1% better every day
+ attention to the details

you are missing out on the opportunity to consistently talk about…
+ competing
+ joy
+ being a great teammate. (or pick any other three topics).

I bring this all up because it is imperative that you are crystal clear about the priorities for yourself and your program.

If you do not get crystal clear on the priorities, you will waffle back and forth and have no priorities.

You would feel the opportunity cost deeply when you talk about ‘A’ but are not able to address ‘G’.

Then when you talk about ‘G’ you will feel the cost of not talking about ‘Z’.

I am sure we have all been around or have been the leader who talks about everything. They are smart, well-spoken, and passionate but they literally talk about and major on 20 things. It’s too much!

The best way to not feel the sting of opportunity cost is to be crystal clear on YOUR priorities. Not another coach’s priorities. YOUR priorities.

Prioritize! Prioritize! Prioritize!


**I am not saying that you can’t talk occasionally about a multitude of things…I am making the case that you can’t major on 7 things. Leaders must major on just a few things and then relentlessly stress those things to those they are leading.

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Travis Wyckoff

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