Today's Challenge: Personal Focus (Part 1)

This is the next installment in the series in which I attempt to answer a question from a leader somewhere in the world. Today, I want to share a few thoughts on the single most requested topic I’ve received thus far. Today’s Challenge: Personal Focus.

Although the question has been asked numerous ways, I think it breaks down into basically two categories: what to focus on and how to stay focused. Although I’m tempted to speak to these in one post, I’ll do two – you’ll have to check back next Friday to get the whole package.

What to focus on?

As a leader, this may be the most important question we face on a daily basis. Where we focus our leadership energy matters. Clearly, there are countless scenarios and factors at play – each situation is unique. However, you may find that at any given time, your focus will lie in one or more of the following areas.

Role Clarity – This is the cornerstone of my focus as a leader. I have role clarity regarding what I have been asked to do by the organization. On any given day, I can evaluate my activities against my predetermined, agreed upon role. Specifically, what are you paid to do?

Current Challenges – Although many leaders love to create detailed plans and be strategic with the use of their time, life rarely goes according to plan. When I set my priorities for a day/week/month, they are very often influenced by circumstances outside my control. That’s okay. Leaders respond to challenges. What threats are facing your team/organization today?

Future Focused – A huge part of every leader’s role is to invest enough time today to ensure there is a better tomorrow. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, I always like to give some focus to the future. If you and I as leaders aren’t creating the future, it is not being created. What can you do to move the enterprise toward the vision?

Personal Growth – This is one of the key factors that separate the great leaders from all others. These men and women understand that their own growth is not optional. The principle is the same as when the flight attendant tells you to put your own oxygen mask on first. If you aren’t growing, you’re no good to those around you. What are you doing today to invest in your own growth and development?

Where should you and I focus our time, energy and leadership? I’m guessing, depending on your unique circumstances, it should always be a blend of these four categories.Integreat Shield

I’d love to hear from you. Please send me your leadership challenges. Here’s how:

Send a single sentence stating your current leadership challenge. If you’d like, you can also send a paragraph outlining pertinent details or context. I will not reveal your name or email address.

You can send your challenges to: Mark@GreatLeadersServe.org

Or, if you can fit your challenge in 140 characters, you can use Twitter: @LeadersServe.