Our personal focus is what leads us.
Having priorities can bring clarity and guidance to our situation, but our personal focus on those priorities can be our greatest personal leadership guide. Let’s take habits for example, how quickly and efficiently a person changes a behavior pattern can be a key indicator of the level of their personal power and focus.
Desire can be a key factor to focus and you automatically create desire when you challenge yourself. It may be the challenge of a new opportunity. A challenge to improve your previous performance. A challenge to grow personally. The desire you have when facing a challenge is essential. Without desire, all your talents and abilities will lay unused and dormant because there is no desire to fuel the focus to meet the challenge. No real, true deep desire allows your focus to continually flip.
If you have allowed past dissapointments to destroy your desire, you can rebuild an even greater store of this valuable and essential quality.
Let’s deal with focus for a minute.
It’s perfectly normal for your focus to flip. It happens all the time. Here’s the important thing, when your focus flips, be aware of it and be honest with yourself. Also important is, when your focus flips, do not allow your integrity to flip with it. Don’t abandon the rules of the game of life that you have set for yourself. Allow them to keep you within the boundaries you have set for yourself. Because navigating a focus-flip can involve so many unknowns, it’s important you have some constants, some things that are non-negotiable.
Leaders and managers can face all sorts of adverse situations, here are just a few that can seriously effect your focus:
First leadership or management position
Turn-around business situation
Switching to a key strategic business unit different from past history experience
Leading and managing on a larger scale
Coming off a large failure or mistake
Significant career change
Personal life event (either positive or negative)
These are all situations that can siphon off your desire, mix up your priorities and flip your focus. Remember, whatever gets your focus, gets all of you. Whatever you give your focus, attention and energy to lives, whatever you remove your focus from, dies. This is why it’s so important where your focus is focused.
Depending upon the behavior style, what happens many times is leaders will stuff their feelings rather than share them. They will just continue to press on in the daily grind. Leaders must develop a group of trusted friends and advisors which can be sounding boards of honesty and integrity in all situations. You need 4-5 trusted friends outside the business and your family who will tell you the truth and give you solid advice. Which sometimes may be painful.
Become saturated with whatever it is you have as your priorities. That will create the desire which will anchor your focus.
Get clarity with your priorities on paper. What are you setting out to do? How long will it take? Who are the people you need to help? How much money do you need? What’s the time horizon to completion?
Always be honest with yourself about these answers.
Develop discipline with these skills: learning, leading, communicating, presenting, coaching and technical.
Always hold yourself accountable to operate at 100% during the moments that are critical. There are times to slow down, speed up and there are times you have to “be on”. Always “be on” at those critical times. Train yourself diligently for this.