Are you too focused on success?

On a scale 1 to 10: How focused on the most value-creating activities are you, on average? By “value-creating”, I mean those activities that represent the best use of your time to move you toward your goals. Those can be personal or business goals.

The key question is not how much time you put into tasks, but how much value you put into time.

This is because time is the only limited resource. Most people would score below 5 on this scale, which even includes accomplished business leaders. 

As a consequence, all successful people try to become increasingly focused. But there is a trap: By becoming focused on only a few things, many leaders ignore any other input that comes unexpectedly. They might be focused, but become ignorant of new ideas. 

Typical statements of CEOs: “We are focused on cost saving. I have no time to listen to your ideas for increasing revenue and profitability in the short-term.” Does this sound ridiculous to you? Careful:

We all, sometimes, confuse focus with ignorance. 

So the question is this: How can you and your team become more focused AND more open-minded, at the same time, to stay productive AND pursue new ideas? 

This is difficult! Here are three tips you must implement to master this balance: 
  1. In your mind, create two kinds of focus: One is on results and the other on learning and growing. Never ever focus 100 percent only on results.
  2. In your calendar, schedule not only time for “power blocks” to work on results, but also for creativity. Make it a habit, even in tough times, to stay open for new input. Have at least once a day talks with inspiring people, who bring you new ideas.
  3. Never ever turn down a reasonable input from a serious source, just because you cannot focus on it in this moment. If you just stare in one direction, you often miss the opportunities directly in front of you.

I find it remarkable that the most successful leaders almost always find the time to listen to good advice and ideas. Only mediocre ones think they are “too busy.” Which category do you want to belong to? 

If you like these ideas, you will like my Leadership Workshops. Click here for more information.


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