You’ve entered a world of perpetually unfinished business. Meetings end without resolution; discussions start and then stop without clear next steps; work is plagued by mistakes; miscommunications need to be clarified; and issues weigh on your mind because they are always partially addressed, but never fully resolved. This pattern can convert even the most talented individual leader into a mediocre performer who stays busy, but not productive.
To address your manager’s dilemma: Hone in on your distinctive contribution and be selective with the projects and priorities you accept. How you approach this subtle challenge has a great impact on your performance. You cannot make progress on the priorities that matter by changing superficial behaviors — for instance, by keeping to-do lists or sorting your email differently.