Today I had a conversation with Yvonne Jackson, a high-powered businesswoman who sits on two prestigious corporate boards -- Spartan Stores and Winn Dixie Stores. She previously sat on the board of Best Buy, too. Yvonne is president of BeecherJackson, a management and human resources consulting company.
I asked Yvonne what skills women should seek if they want a crack at a coveted board seat of a public company. Her answer: "They need to be the best at what they do. Be at the top of your game."
If there ever was an endorsement for resisting overcommitment, that's it. Don't stretch yourself too thin. Her point: Concentrate on what you do and do it well enough to make an impression on a CEO or someone with clout.
A few weeks ago, one of my favorite newspaper columnists Steve Yoder tackled the issue of overcommitment. His column, The High Price of Saying Yes, mentioned his plans to cutback on commitments. But he advised doing so with caution: He writes: "Overextension can be a good thing. Overcommitment, like our overplanted backyard, sometimes yields rich surprises that a better-planned schedule might not. If we don't sign on for too much, we may miss that one thing that stands above the others."
It seems the best advice is take on commitment with caution, know your limits and always keep some room in your life for suprises.
Have you made a resolution around overcommitment? Should you make one?