When I was in the Air Force, we always had a laugh during our safety briefings. During basic training and early in our careers we had the Air Force core values drilled in to our brains -integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. These were designed to be the guiding values that drove all of our decisions with integrity first.

During every single safety briefing, the commanders would tell us safety first. This started a common joke in the service – safety first but also integrity first.

Which was it? Should we be safe or act with integrity?

Safety and integrity aren’t mutually exclusive, those of us in the briefings understood that and this story just demonstrates a point.

You can only have one top priority.

There will always be a long list of goals for your company, organization or career. But if you shift your focus to too many goals your chance of success will decrease. And more importantly, your team members won’t be equipped to make the right decision. Should they be safe or act in integrity?

So what can you do about it?

  1. Document all of the things that you care about – revenue, client satisfaction, employee turnover, cost savings et cet
  2. Determine which of these influences the others – client satisfaction for example can be measured by revenue, retention and referrals
  3. Focus on the items that impact most of the things you care about

You could make the case to ignore Net Promoter Scores and instead focus on achieving customer referrals. Customers don’t refer business or products they aren’t very happy with.