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?”


  1. Dilutes performance.
  2. Diminishes results.
  3. 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:

  1. Results.
  2. Tomorrow.
  3. Yesterday’s failure.
  4. Past success.
  5. Weakness.
  6. Frustration and problems.
  7. How you feel.

7 foci for the big eye:

  1. 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.”
  2. Relationships. Deliver results through relationships.
  3. Today. Never sacrifice taking action today on the altar of tomorrow’s dream.
  4. Joy. Face the battle joyfully or you’ll demoralize the troops. They’re down because you’re down.
  5. How far you have to go. Where you’re going is more important than where you’ve been.
  6. Strengths. Leveraging strengths takes you further than fixing weaknesses.
  7. 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?