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“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”
— Zig Ziglar

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About 15 years ago, I worked for an executive of a large global company. During our 1×1, I would bring in a page of issues and recommended projects and highly recommend that we needed to get going on some of these projects. I remember him stating, “I must put blinders on and focus on my most important priority because if I don’t, nothing else will matter. I am aware of these issues, and understand you are getting a lot of questions from the team. I need to block them out and not allow them to take my focus away from my key priority.”

I learned a lot about how to have impact by focusing from this executive. He clearly understood how to hold his focus and how to succeed. He had a let go of list vs. a daily to-do list. He spent his time clearly identifying the most important initiative that would turn the company around and drive revenue growth. His schedule reflected his thinking time, his focus, and his specific target.

Think about your business. What is the most important thing you must accomplish? Start booking time in your schedule to focus and to think about this item. Take things off your schedule that do not align with this priority. Ask about every meeting: Do I need to be a part of this meeting, is it important, how will I have impact? Bundle or outsource your administrative work and keep it efficient so it does not take your attention away from your target.

Focus on creating, not simply maintaining, and be the self-directed leader who owns their schedule, their energy, and their future.

photo credit: Papercamp schedule via photopin (license)

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