The Little Eye and the Big Eye
Leaders who can’t focus, fail.
The benefit of focus is the power to disregard.
Leaders with focus, like horses with blinders, ignore distractions.
Distraction makes weak leaders feel powerful. Solving “important” issues protects them from accountability for real results.
Distracted leaders chase drama. Drama makes lousy leaders feel important, when they’re actually wasting time and resources.
Distracted leaders have distracted followers. “Drop what you’re doing, we have an ’emergency!’ The CEO just burped. What are we going to do?”
- Dilutes performance.
- Diminishes results.
- Deflates enthusiasm.
Distracted teams reflect distracted leaders.
Focus now, so when pressure escalates, you’ll know what matters.
Clarify focus before pressure escalates and drama distracts.
Successful leaders have a little eye and a big eye. The little eye focuses on what matters. The big eye focuses on what’s matters, now.
7 foci for the little eye:
- Yesterday’s failure.
- Past success.
- Frustration and problems.
- How you feel.
7 foci for the big eye:
- How others feel. Monitor and manage emotional states and energy levels. Lousy leaders think, “It doesn’t matter how they feel as long as they get the job done.”
- Relationships. Deliver results through relationships.
- Today. Never sacrifice taking action today on the altar of tomorrow’s dream.
- Joy. Face the battle joyfully or you’ll demoralize the troops. They’re down because you’re down.
- How far you have to go. Where you’re going is more important than where you’ve been.
- Strengths. Leveraging strengths takes you further than fixing weaknesses.
- Solutions. Focus on frustrations and problems long enough to begin formulating solutions. Only pessimists follow problem-centric leaders.
Focus determines direction. Direction determines results.
How can leaders find focus?
How can leaders navigate tensions between long-term and short-term priorities?
People can find Focus by understanding how the mind works.
You tell me any other way.
Brain researchers have found the average bloke spends 5% of their time resensing, not focusing on now.
95% of time is spent rethinking and refeeling reactions from the past.
If you desire a better understanding of YOU and your brain….
Google away. I can show you, I already did the research.
Google Bruce Lipton. The Biology of Belief. Free video on Youtube.
Know Thyself and the equipment God gave you or stay stupid and take your chances taking stabs in the dark.
People have dedicated their lives to figure this stuff out for us. I suggest if you desire to be a more effective person get with the program.
EA. video free all you got to do is know you don’t know and be curious.
Oops 95% of our time not focused!!! See I am a work in progress too.
But as I teach I learn
Amen! We tend to get stockholm syndrome when it comes to results, and the death by 1000 cuts starts to feel like we are actually doing something. But then we step away from all that, and realize we have accomplished very little. Sorry for the mixed metaphors, but you definitely hit the right nerve with this post.
An interesting post with good learning.
I liked your last statement. ‘Focus determines direction. Direction determines results.’
I may add- Focus coupled with convincing communication, team efforts and speedy action that can lead to good desired results. Foreseeing likely distractions and removing them also become a leader’s responsibility.
Thank you, sir.
Great great stuff Dan! Thank you!
Rev. Rick Weidman Pastor, Chaplain, Counselor 843-455-0655 ConsultRevRick@gmail.com
Great one for today! This is a tough skill for me – I am easily distracted by smaller, easier to solve stuff. In the spirit of focus, I’m going to choose one of your Big Eye Foci to work on today – deliver results through relationships. This is what I struggle with – when I reach out to others, how do I inspire real commitment, rather than superficial enthusiasm?
Very true! Unfortunately sometimes the best way is to remove a bad leader.
This is a great post!
There is also the “third eye,” as it is referred to by mystics. This eye, depicted as being in the center of your forehead, is the eye that senses through intuition. It can tell you things that have not yet happened, or interpret past actions with the gift of insight.
The third eye is not a lens, but more of an antenna, so you need to ‘tune’ it to the right station. It is a tremendous source of distraction if it is constantly scanning instead of staying tuned to a wavelength. I try to spend 10 minutes or more every day in silent contemplation, quieting all the noise to allow my third eye to tune to the proper frequency.
I use my third eye for writing fiction, solving puzzles, and songwriting. At work, I use it to do financial reconciliations or to develop an Excel formula. When I had a stint as a leader, it went haywire with noise and crossed signals. That is why I meditate now!
Excellent! Few things are more disruptive than a high-level manager with shifting priorities, strategies, etc. It is almost as harmful to the organization as creating unnecessary structure and processes which limit nimbleness.
I really like the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah steadfastly refused to hold meetings with enemies, kept people focused on working in front of their own homes, had them so focused they didn’t even stop to take baths. The result – a 4 km wall with breaches fixed in 52 days, using only manual labor. Purpose in all of our work should be as clear as in an emergency room or operating room.
Leaders who won’t focus waste resources, discourage others, and hurt the organization.
One more thought…No individual or team sporting event of world-class caliber has been won by unfocused people. The same can be said of talents like playing an instrument, scaling a mountain peak, etc. Leaders need to focus, and remove distractions from those they lead. When a leader needs to prioritize the things he/she has asked of others, or worse doesn’t want to prioritize, it is a sign that he/she is flailing, not leading.
Remember to keep the balance between sharp, undistracted focus and being situationally aware. I remember a cartoon with a super-ninja, totally focussed on his target, goingthrough several cartoon frames, getting closer and closer, ever sharper – until he got hit by a bus he hadn’t noticed because he was focussed on the target. It’s a joke of course, but with an element of truth.
Thanks for this important post. Starting the day with a clear intent, reminding oneself of the big picture, the most important goal helps in building and retaining focus. It also makes it easier to reduce, eliminate distractions. Exercise, meditation and mindfulness practices are simple ways to strengthen focus.