Growth Leadership – Persistence and Focus
Always be the last to give up on yourself.
Those who take it to the next level are the people who do these things with persistence. They don’t look for excuses for why something isn’t working––they focus on how to make it work for them, or on what would work better instead. They are also not quick to jump from one strategy to another midstream or to be seduced by the newest “shiny object” that comes along, either.
And here comes the knockout punch: even if you are already an action taker, what is required to get more from your current actions?
Before you dive in, consider this…
Focus is more important than your intelligence.
Intelligence without a degree of focus is likely to yield very little. Those with a high level of focus will get more done. In other words, you have to be more than just smart. Think about that one.
The secret is simplicity (not complexity). These insights are quite simple in their design and execution. The simplicity is what makes them so powerful if you use them and makes them easy to form as a habit.
You can use these to not only get more done but if you choose, you can save so much time that you can make each weekend a 3-day weekend. Now THAT is a promise that we can all use.
Many people struggle with focus. Sometimes the core issue is procrastination. Other times it’s a struggle to avoid being distracted by trivial things. Often it comes because they haven’t done the work to clarify their, vision, values, and strategies. (See how it all links up?)
A simple example: when my son was four years old, he and I had an experience that underlined the importance of focus for me. My son received a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas that was more difficult than he could handle. It was too challenging for his attention span and almost too much for mine. Just keeping it real here.
First, we had to reduce outside distractions, for example by turning off the TV. I wasn’t used to doing puzzles and didn’t have any fancy strategies beyond starting at the outer edges and working my way in. But after more than an hour of work, we hadn’t made much progress.
I ramped up my intensity just so we could finish the puzzle before my son’s bedtime. I focused intently on one small element of the puzzle so I could match up even a few pieces. For example, I would look for a spot of color not found elsewhere in the puzzle so I could locate that one piece.
As I continued with this strategy, I began to pick up momentum. New pieces started clicking into place faster, and finally, we finished—before bedtime. It was a great, simple exercise in focus and persistence. In order to solve some of our key issues in life, we need to learn to concentrate at a new level and be persistent in the face of challenges.
Even with all the work I’ve done on this over the years, I am continuing to train myself to be persistent. Change the patterns and habits underlying your thoughts and behaviors, and you will find new ways to concentrate on what’s important. That higher level of focus, in turn, will help you pursue your vision and expand your boundaries better than ever.
Your ability to create a new way of growth leadership is a direct correlation to your ability to be persistent and focus on what you are doing.