How the Power of Focus Protects You
Senbere Teferi was the clear winner of the 2023 Peachtree Road Race. Just yards from the finish line she focused on the wrong thing and ran off course.
You go where you look.
From first to third:
Motorcycle escorts exit the racecourse before runners cross the finish line. Senbere Teferi focused on the escort and ran off the course. She recovered but placed third instead of first.
See her try to recover here: Front-runner at AJC Peachtree Road Race takes wrong turn – YouTube
The key to focus:
The secret to focus is eliminating distractions.
I met the helicopter pilot who flew me to the trauma center a year after it happened. It was November 2012. Curt said, “I turn away when they load accident victims in the back. If I looked, the medical team would probably have another patient. I don’t want to know what’s going on back there. I can hear it when things are getting dicey but I try to ignore it.”
Ignore the things that are important to others so you can do your job.
4 Benefits of ignoring things:
- Staying in your sweet spot. Meddling won’t help.
- Freeing others to stay in their sweet spots.
- Dispassionate decision-making.
- Skillful, consistent execution.
4 Ways to ignore others:
- Respect and honor their skills.
- Trust them to execute.
- Think humbly about yourself. Don’t over-estimate your competence.
- Concentrate on your responsibility.
The leader’s focus:
- Equip and enable others to solve their own problems.
- Explain what’s important when people go off course.
- Notice the way people work. Why? So you can support, encourage, and correct in ways appropriate for each individual. Don’t study problems. Study people.
- Help people notice when they are at their best so they can stay in the zone.
Focus in a world filled with distractions makes you remarkable.
What distracts leaders?
How might leaders focus on the right things?