Les McKeown's Predictable Success Blog

  • July 9, 2023
  • minute read

Draining The Swamp Part 3 

Listen to Les McKeown read this blog post:

In our two previous posts we've been looking at how over time we can amass such a burden of outstanding - and ever-growing - commitments and activities, that we eventually lose focus on our 'real job'.

We saw that in place of laser-like execution, instead, we end up using most of our time and other resources just navigating a swamp of our own making.

In the first post in the series I shared a simple note-taking exercise to help start the process of draining that swamp.

And in the second post we looked at a second question-asking exercise to help you move from 'only doing what only you can do' to 'only doing what only you should do'.

(If you haven't yet read those two posts or completed the exercises, I recommend doing so before moving on to what follows.)

The third step is one which I see most often overlooked at worst, or fudged at best, and that is in setting clear metrics for success.

A senior leader in one of the largest and most consistently successful companies in the world over the last 30 years once said to me "If it can't be put on a spreadsheet it doesn't matter."

I don't believe that, and I doubt his spouse and kids believe it either - there is much more to a life well lived than metrics. 

There are areas, however, in which a lucid, clinically clear metric can make all the difference in the world, and this is one of them.

Taking the 'must-do's from the question-asking exercise in the last post and crafting real-world, easily measured metrics to measure your success in delivering those 'must-do's, is a vital final step in locking in your journey to 'only doing what only you should do'.

While I obviously can't write your metrics for you in this blog post, I have (and do) help many leaders craft such metrics over the years.

Here are some examples:

Sample ‘Must Do’s and Associated Metrics







Mentor Me In Leadership Skills

At Least One 45-Minute Mentoring Session Per Month


VP Sales

Provide Me With High-Quality Hiring Shortlists

At Least 3 Acceptable, Prescreened Resumes Within 4 Weeks Of An Open Position

Sales Manager

Sales Rep

Provide Me With High-Quality Leads

At Least 15 New Leads Per Month

Sales Rep

Sales Manager

A Reasonable Percentage Of Self-Generated Leads

At Least Four Self-Generated Leads Per Month

Account Rep

Data Entry Supervisor

Substantially ‘Clean’ Customer Orders

A Maximum Of 5% Of Customer Orders Returned As Incomplete Or Incorrect



Deliver The Monthly Cost Containment Plan

Achieve + Or – 5% Of The Monthly Cost Containment Budget

What about you? What specific metrics could you set to measure your success in 'Draining the Swamp'?

Let Me Know In The Comments Below!


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