Trade-off – a balance achieved between two desirable but incompatible features; a compromise.

One of the enduring lessons I took away from graduate school was that defining a strategy inevitably means defining trade-offs.

A good strategy helps us navigate trade-offs by helping us understand what matters and, thus, the sorts of compromises we should make. This works just as well in business and in life. If we decide something is a priority, we should be willing to make compromises in other areas. This exercise is never fun. But, it is important.

If all we’re doing is spreading ourselves too thin in our attempts at doing everything, then we’re not executing on a strategy.

If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.