Sunday, April 5, 2009

Focus: A Great Differentiator

To see Mt. Rushmore in a magazine is one thing, to go there and see it in person is amazing, but to focus in with binoculars (as my son Easton is doing here) gives one a whole new appreciation of the detail that went into sculpting this monument. It took Gutzon & his son Lincoln Borglum 14 years and 400 workers to complete this work of art.

In our workplaces, ministries, and even small day to day encounters, the ability and power of focus can be a maximizing, life-changing differentiator.

Most of us fall into rock-skipping. We're busy, trying to consume only what we absolutely have to, and are sprinting an inch deep and a mile wide at work and in life. We've all heard "focus", but what can that really look like?

  • At work.... The nature of my job is to be an inch deep and a mile wide as Operations Manager...however, our initiatives won't get done without focus. Bill Hybels talked about having a "6 initiatives in 6 weeks" approach to your critical items. I find this very helpful to be able to say "no" to important things but will simply have to wait. Here are my current "6" that are my focus to April 15th at Pinnacle as an example:
    Web strategy with blog- initial steps to build a contributing writer team for future blog
    Video research for online snippets for training and solutions for clients
    Bootcamp- 2 week training curriculum developed for new sales executives/employees
    Chief Technology Officer strategy as more companies are looking to outsource IT
    Marketing plan rolling with client experience focus
    Existing Customer process defined
  • Freakanomics is a good read about focus. It shows how much common knowledge we all believe to be true is actually false when someone takes the time to dig into the data/details. (Like, is it more dangerous to have a gun in your home or have a swimming pool?) Real information is power, it takes focus to find real information.... Focus= Power
  • Every day interactions. When we take time to stop and focus on a person (maybe at the grocery store or with a neighbor), we can make a real impact rather than having a relationship of news/sports/weather. Rob Wegner delivered a great message on this available here for $4 His statement: Small intervention + Focus= BIG IMPACT Small intervention + No Focus= Little or no impact.
  • I get overwhelmed with the amount of information available to me. I can't read all the blogs, books, or attend enough conferences to keep up. I find myself "wishing" I knew more about scores of subjects. I'm learning..."it's OK not to know it all, take a deep breath, pick my target, and focus on something to be an expert in..." Having great people around you with their expertise' will fill in your gaps of information.
  • Ever been to a Cirque du Soleil show? You'll see what crazy, amazing ability can come from focusing on one talent. To see how fast and how many bowling pins two people can fire off at each other without dropping a single pin was staggering. I admire their focus to a single craft.

The people around me that are changing the world are focused on specialties. They are not spread thin, Jeopardy wanna-be-winner, know-it-alls. They are satisfied with being great at tackling a single problem/challenge, in a single area, for a single company/organization at time. They know what they can and cannot do. The employees I see that make a real impact have the ability to focus and be a real expert in their field...they do not skim the surface. Great Mom's and Dad's are taking time to focus with their kids in small interventions.

Are you focused or are you just trying to keep up?

1 comment:

BillW said...

OK. I have officially become a "MaxiMeyer Groupie" and will be recommending this blog to my business friends. Enough said... :)