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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

May 16, 2017

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Submitted by Daryl Buchholz

Daryl Buchholz

Stephen Covey’s quote resonates with me at any time, and especially now. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

With the potential need for change pressing hard upon us, it is imperative that we keep focus on what is most important. What is the main thing about a strong, highly valued system of K-State Research and Extension? What is the focus and most important work that you must accomplish? It is too easy to get caught up with all kinds of distractions. How do we keep focus on those most important principles? I further like the quote for whom I don't know receives full credit, but one I heard out of one of our former Dean/Director's, Fred Cholick. "If it is to be, it is up to me." Ten two-letter words that send each of us a powerful message about the importance of taking personal responsibility. Another way to think about it in this context, "If I'm going to keep the main thing, the main thing, then it is indeed up to me!

One example from this time of the year, youth will be putting their 4-H project achievements on display during fair time. It's important to always keep a focus on the main thing. Is the main thing about winning? Or is the main thing about providing opportunity to learn life skills, leadership, and citizenship? Will a young person have to win to achieve the main thing? Keep focus on the main thing.

Covey’s quote has so many meaningful applications. And, if you find yourself asking what is the main thing, I’d suggest going to another author, Simon Sinek. Sinek will point you to “Start With Why.”