4 Questions to Focus your Brain Before it Derails Your Leadership
Focus on something bigger than the wind. Everyone deals with challenges but leaders aren’t derailed by them.
Give your brain something to think about beyond pressing issues, urgent deadlines, and nagging problems.
You’re brain’s derailing focus:
Your brain has a mind of its own.
Like a two-year-old filled with joyful defiance, your brain thinks things you wish it wouldn’t.
The more you tell your brain to stop doing something, the more it does it.
Your brain loves to focus on…
- Pressing issues.
- Things that could have been.
- Things that might go wrong.
- Things you want others to do.
- Problems that come back again and again.
- Disappointing circumstances.
Your brain quickly leads you into dark holes and dead-end alleys.
Only a fool ignores discomforting realities. But leaders do more than jump from one fire to the next.
4 questions to focus your brain:
#1. If things were going perfectly, what would be true?
Focus your brain on drawing a picture of a preferred world when it complains about bad situations or results.
A person who focuses on circumstances is controlled by them.
#2. What do you want?
Don’t circle the blackhole by living in don’t-like and don’t-want. Use your brain’s love of complaining to focus on what you want.
#3. What do you want to do about that?
When you complain about people or circumstances, focus your brain on figuring out ways to make things better.
#4. What matters?
When your brain doesn’t like something, explore values and priorities.
The mind of a leader thinks reality is something to be accepted AND shaped.
Leaders think about what could be, even while they grapple with reality.
How might leaders rise above current urgencies?
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, Daniel Goleman
I really enjoyed this. Thank You!
Great post! The last two lines were a great reminder. I attended the Global Leadership Summit last week and Craig Groeschel talked about eight paradoxes of leadership. One of the paradoxes was leaders need to be optimistic AND realistic. Its a hard balance. Sometimes reality can be oppressive and it takes discipline to keep the potential reality in focus.
Thanks Luke. “Optimistic and realistic.” Three easy words. One challenging behavior.
Pressing issues, urgent deadlines, and nagging problems keep pulling us away from the bigger, more important idea we need to pursue.
Post you mission, vision, or big idea in your work area, so it there as a constant reminder. Don’t get trapped in the weeds.
Golf is a great example of keeping happy thoughts and visualizing shots…so much like life. when the train goes off the tracks there is always, “the next shot”; however usually many become derailed because they are still thinking about that last shot..