Why “Protect the Primary”
When it comes to strategy, Colonel John Boyd is one of my Role Models. When it comes to discipline and focus; one man continually surprises and inspires me — David Goggins. It is from a book about Mr. Goggins titled, Living with a Seal, specifically Chapter 26, Primary Target, that I derived the name for Protect the Primary Consulting Co.
“Say, SEAL,” I say. “What would you do if there was an intruder in the house?”
Slowly SEAL turns and looks at me. He holds me with an even, unemotional stare. Then he turns back to the TV without answering my question.
“No, really,” I say. “What would you do?”
He shakes his head slowly.
“I think you know what I’d do,” he says to the TV.
“I would protect the primary.”
“What’s the primary?”
“That’s the million-dollar question,” he says. “What is your primary, Jesse? What would hurt you the most to lose? This big-screen TV? Those gold record awards you own? Jewelry? Cash? What do you hold most dear?”
“No,” I say. “None of that.”
“Well?” he asks.
“My wife and my son.”
“Exactly, Jesse,” he says. “They’re your primary, and as long as I’m in this house they’re my primary too. You asked me what I would do. I would protect my primary at any cost. And unfortunately for you, you’re my third option.”
Everyone’s primary is different. My primary focus with clients is dodging distractions, vanity metrics, and noise to maintain a ruthless focus on results that will move the needle.