The Power of Focus
I’ve been writing a blog here off and on, and mostly off for a long time. While I write very regularly here, I have been remiss here. That is going to change.
While there are plenty of explanations for being MIA here, none are excuses. So rather than providing either, I will talk about the solution; which is all about focus.
Focus, is a powerful thing.
Once I read an acrostic for the word, which describes focus as:
This is clever and helpful — to a point. The ultimate mistake in that advice is that the course (or approach) might need to change, but being flexible isn’t the enemy of focus. Rather, put your focus on the target, the goal or whatever you are defining as success.
Focus is an accumulator of energy.
We have all walked outdoors on a sunny day and felt the warmth of the sun on our face and body. When I was in summer camp, I was given a block of wood, and a magnifying glass and with those two things — and the same sun that pleasantly warms our face — I created a message burnt into the wood. That happened because of the power of focus.
We are all busy in our lives, and like the sun broadly provides light, we try to cover all the aspects and roles of lives, making progress in all those areas. And yet, the progress we make is often incomplete or unsatisfying, isn’t it? If you find that to be true, focus may be what you most need.
While this is true for us as an individual, it may be even more true for us as a leader, because our actions (and inactions) decisions (and non-decisions) impact more than just ourselves.
Focus is a tremendous director of energy.
As leaders, we often have many competing issues, challenges and tasks. Guess what?
That is your life, it is what you signed up for, and why you get the “big bucks.” It is always why focus is so critically important to you in this role. To be an effective leader we must continue to be focused. We must provide a consistent and focused picture of the future we are leading people toward.
Focus allows us to dive deep and accomplish something important when we use this power tool. Once we have determined our focus, we can get more done, more effectively, in an amazingly short time period.
Of course, new opportunities will arise and the world will change. New ideas will emerge that require or demand our attention. At best, we must recognize these things and consider them in the context of the great work that already exists. But we must also make sure we aren’t just chasing the next interesting project or whim. The new shiny object is the enemy of your success.
Ultimately focus is required for your success. And it is the only way those you lead will remain productive and enjoy their work.
One thing at a time.
Put everything in proper perspective.
Beware the new shiny object.
Help others do the same.
Put this power tool in your tool box, and don’t allow it to get lost there from inactivity.