“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought into a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Time seems to fly by, and this year is no different. It’s already November, which means 2019 is right around the corner. Regardless of what kind of business you’re in, it doesn’t seem like 2019 is going to be any less tricky to navigate than 2018 was.
There are so many things coming at us as leaders these days. And each of them presents itself as though it’s the most important item on your agenda. Every fire you’re supposed to put out is the hottest one, every call you have to answer is the most urgent one, etc. So you spend your day moving faster than the speed of sound in 20 different directions – and not really feeling like you’re getting anywhere.
There are very few things more important to a leader than focus. I don’t just mean that the organization as a whole needs to be focused, although it does. I’m talking about you personally, as the leader. What do you actually spend your time doing? Unfortunately for most leaders, the answer is probably that you spend most of your time oiling the squeakiest wheel.
It can’t be that way. Your skills and abilities need to be applied where you can have the most impact. Too many leaders spend most of their careers doing things they’re not very good at because they get pulled into it and can’t get out. You can’t let that happen.
Every year I ask myself the same four questions. This isn’t original; I borrowed it from somebody else. Here they are:
- What do I need to stop doing?
- What do I need to delegate to someone else here at the firm?
- What do I need to outsource to an expert?
- What do I need to re-engineer?
Think about the impact it could have on your ability to focus if you came up with just one answer to each question (hint: there are many answers to those questions). What would it mean to get those things off your plate?
If you’re serious about effectively leading your business, you have to maintain focus. You can’t allow yourself as a leader to get blown around on that day’s winds. You have to determine where you spend your time, and you have to be ruthless about it. Without focus, you’ll be constantly busy without every accomplishing anything. With it, you’ll begin accomplishing the things that matter most to you.