The vain attempt to be all things to all people continues to debilitate leaders and organizations.
During the 1990s, Apple suffered from an expansive product line that almost killed it. You probably know the story. It took the return of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to turn the company around.
Jobs eliminated weaker product lines, some of them even profitable, keeping only four. The narrower focus let Apple grow into the most valuable company in the world.
In a 2008 interview, Jobs said: “People think focus means saying ‘yes’ to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying ‘no’ to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.”
— Adapted from “You Can’t Be All Things to All Customers,” Kevin D. Johnson, The Entrepreneur Mind.