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06 Dec Effective Leaders Do This One Thing Better Than Most

Over the past year, I have looked for patterns in the leaders and teams I work with. Patterns regarding challenges, and patterns regarding effective solutions. The most frequent refrain I hear from leaders is that they want to spend less time in the “weeds,” and more time on the “big picture.”

Like a lot of things in business, I think it’s a math problem, and a matter of choosing to invest a majority of hours per day in a few key categories.

Ineffective leaders spend a majority of their time putting out fires; mired in activity.

Effective leaders have the FOCUS to work on vision, strategy, people development, and spending time with clients to cycle that knowledge back into vision, strategy and people development.

So if it’s as simple as FOCUS, why isn’t that common practice? Could it be because FOCUS requires DISCIPLINE, which is simply of a HABIT of making SACRIFICES? That is, saying NO to COMFORT (aka status quo).

It feels good to check activities off the list. Working on vision, strategy and people development doesn’t provide short-term gratifying feedback. Effective leaders are motivated by the long-term objectives, and are willing to sacrifice short-term “motivators.”

So… is it FOCUS, or is it being comfortable with being uncomfortable? I think effective leaders are better able to harness adversity as a tool for positive change. They balance discipline with adaptability, and compelled by clarity of vision, they’re more than willing to simply say “no” to activity that doesn’t propel the organization forward.

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