“Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.” – Dan Sullivan
Human beings are easily distracted. We might be in the middle of doing something we think is really important, and then suddenly a bright shiny object appears and we’re completely distracted. It seems like we’re always looking for the next exciting thing that’s going to completely revolutionize our world and solve all our problems. Of course, it rarely revolutionizes our world, and it never solves all our problems.
Leaders, being human, and the organizations they lead, being made up of humans, of course tend to suffer from the same affliction. We see a new product or a new customer or a new market or a new whatever and immediately think “This is it! We’ve found it!” and run towards it full speed ahead. Of course, it rarely goes exactly how we’d hoped, and pretty soon we’re distracted by the next thing.
Think about yourself as a leader and the organization you lead. Are you constantly chasing bright shiny objects? Do you get excited about something that’s going to be extraordinary, only to find yourself on to the next big thing in a matter of weeks or months?
Don’t feel bad – a lot of organizations function that way. We’re afraid we’re going to miss the next big thing, or we’re looking for some kind of a shortcut. Something comes along that looks interesting and so we chase it. Most of the time, we end up back somewhere close to where we started except we’re a little bit older and disappointed.
That lack of focus, or inability to avoid distraction, is a huge energy killer for organizations. The vast majority of successful businesses don’t spend year after year chasing the next big thing. They understand very clearly who they are and how they’re successful, and they don’t allow themselves to stray from that path.
I don’t mean that they never try new things or that they just put their heads down and plod along. What I mean is that when new things appear on the radar, they don’t just chase those things because they sound exciting. They carefully consider whether this particular new thing fits with who they want to be and where they want to go.
Most importantly, when they find something that’s a fit, they don’t just try it for a little while and then move on to the next thing. They stick with it and don’t let it go until they’ve finished whatever it is they set out to do.
Great organizations are focused and tenacious. So are great leaders. Does that sound like you?