By Randy Snyder
A baseball player’s ability to focus determines if he eventually hits a one hundred mph fast ball. A quarterback’s ability to focus results on where his receiver will be able to catch a ball a second or less after the release of the football affects the completion of the pass. A race car driver must be focused on when to change direction and accelerate to pass another driver. Focus makes it possible for a basketball player to sink a three point shot as far as 90 feet from the bucket. Without a camera’s focus ability, your pictures taken would not be clear nor capture the items or persons that were what you wanted. A hunter who does not have scope on his or her firearm usually misses the target. A business leader’s focus must be on not what happened, but what needs to happen in the future and his or her ability to direct focus on how to get to that destination. A governing body, such as our nation’s congress that lacks focus, ends up in disarray and deadlocked.
Focus is an overlooked aspect of our lives that can monumentally affect our future.
Focus, or the lack of focus, can result in good actions and programs or unfulfilled actions or programs, hence, success or failure. In a meeting context, knowing your audience prior to focusing your efforts can provide a preferred outcome. A good adage for proper focus is ready, aim, aim, aim and then fire!
Keen focus with synthesis of a management group can become clouded and ineffective when faced with too many objectives or too many distractions. The leader is the key to keeping everyone on focus, not allowing the desired result to get clouded or lost. Intense focus can be achieved when goals and agendas are prioritized and followed.
Effective leadership therefore is determined by the ability of the leader, the president, the captain to create and maintain the focus of the persons involved. As a business leader I employed the following elements as the nexus for focus of others:
- Delegate the complex and longer range items to ad hoc committees or request more research and empirical input.
- Keep the agenda for the present succinct and realistic.
- Do not allow distractions internal or external to cause loss of focus.
- Make certain your personal focus is shared by the majority of those in collaboration with the leader.
- Carefully pick, redirect or discharge individuals who do not have the same focus and are clearly not interested with the mission of the body or theme of the organization.
Personal focus can be as challenging as establishing clear focus for the group you lead. I offer the following (mostly due to my real life experiences):
- As a parent or spouse it is only possible to be personally focused if family members are kept in mind and everyone has respect for each other. If your focus is selfish as opposed to selfless, you will lose your personal focus every time. Sharing is the key word and action.
- The core of family focus is having compassion, understanding and support of the individuals who comprise the family unit. A disconnect from the others in the family results in a lack of focus and a family in disarray.
In closing, don’t get distracted. Stay focused!