In my work with CEOs, I spend time on the subject of Focus. While we inherently understand the importance of focus in achieving our goals, the truth is it can often be elusive.
As leaders we are confronted daily with opportunities and challenges, those unexpected, unplanned occurrences that disrupt a carefully planned day.
While planning for the unplannable is part of our job, I would argue that planning to stay focused on the tasks and plans at hand is as important.
So why is it so difficult?
An opportunity gets presented that looks attractive. We spend time evaluating it; we get the team together to evaluate it. We spend valuable resources pursuing it.
“What is wrong with that?”, you say.
Nothing , if the opportunity fits into the plan, into the sandbox of our goals. But if we allow ourselves to get distracted by opportunities that are not core to the mission, then we are taking resources from the mission, we are diluting our ability to make maximum impact.
Having a strong set of processes to assure we manage to execution of the actions that deliver our goals and objectives is the best way to assure that we don’t get distracted by those shiny objects.
It does not have to be a 30-page strategy. But you do have to have a clear understanding of the key levers that will deliver your plan and you have to have “Who, What, When” action plans that you manage with your team to assure execution of deliverables.
I’m not saying ignore opportunity when it presents itself. But discern if that opportunity is accretive to your plans, if it fits. If it doesn’t, it is a shiny object that will distract you and your team from the mission