Focus and determination beat brains and intellect every time. Your power lies in your ability to focus on doing what is important. If you focus on the right things, and work at them often, you will achieve exceptional results.
One time, my wife Darla and I were on a cruise ship. I went to speak with the captain and asked him what the largest waves he had sailed through had been. He proceeded to tell me about ninety foot waves, which seemed, to me, to be a force to be reckoned with. He said that as long as you have electricity, they are manageable. If you lose power, however, then you begin to drift and that is when you are at risk for capsizing. Drifting signifies a loss of control.
Drifting and waiting are very different things. Waiting is an intentional choice, drifting takes away your power of choice. A simple lack of attention can cause you to lose the power of purpose and engagement.
Much of this is because we live in a world of distraction. According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan in 2005, 20-40% of a worker’s productivity is eaten up by “task switching”—the time it takes to mentally reengage when shifting from one task to another.
The goal of anyone who wants to act as a leader is to move beyond the perpetual distractions we face and focus on what really matters. We can’t wait for random events to help us achieve our goals. Our challenge is to plan to do things of significance and impact, then strategically pursue them.
Leadership Action Points:
- Eliminate activities that don’t add value
None of us has more than twenty-four hours in each day. The greatest advancements of history come about as a result of the ways individuals used their resources: their time and expertise and the time and expertise of others.
- Identify your MVP activities
When applied to leadership, MVP activities are those that are Most Valuable and Profitable. What six to eight MVP activities give you the biggest payback on your investment of time and energy?