Words to live by: "Start with the little dragons"

As I stepped off the elevator this morning, a coworker shared those words with me.

“When you’re slaying dragons, start with the little ones.”

He tells his kids every morning that he’s off to slay some dragons. He likes to start with the little ones, because they don’t put up near the same fight as the big ones.

I just love this phrase, it really typifies one of the main strategies that’s useful in succeeding at Microsoft, particularly as a PM where a lot of your time can be spent in fire fighting and you can get to the end of a week and not be able to really put into words what exactly you accomplished all week.

Comments (4)

  1. Omar Shahine says:

    Love it. I plan to tell our daugther that 😉

  2. Allister_Frost says:

    Heck! Good advice can be confusingly contradictory. I was always told to deal with the big stuff first (i.e. slay the big dragons). I’m all for quick wins but as a reformed-PM at Microsoft I know I’d never have survived if I’d just stopped those little lizard-like tasks from nipping at my ankles. I’d have been gobbled up alive by a big hairy dragon on day one if I’d adopted that approach!

  3. I don’t think those points are mutually exclusive… it’s not that you should ignore the high priority tasks, it’s more advice to make sure you *don’t* ignore the tasks that are a small amount of work, just because they’re a small amount of work, because a large number of small dragons will add up to be very painful 🙂 Plus, it’s just cute.