The Power of Focus is a slogan thrown around and one most executives take for granted. There is a hidden assumption about the Power of Focus that it is a generally ‘wanted trait’ and it is ‘important to be focused’ as a leader.
However, what is mostly missed is the damage that the Power of Focus can bring to you, your team and your results. The “Power” in “Focus” is that it brings about more of what you focus on. The question then becomes – what are you focused on?
Most teams focus on what is not working and therefore those ‘not working’ issues churn over and over again causing more of the problems and roadblocks they are facing. This looks on the surface as what there is to bring attention to – but each minute spent here (past the point of simply understanding the current facts of a situation) is a minute you are undermining the emergence of the solutions. This is counterintiutive as it looks like we should spend more time on the issues, but as the old saying goes, “you bring about what you think about”.
The more continued focus on issues the more issues show up. The more continued focus on the team’s ‘problems’ the larger the team’s problems become. The more you focus on the issues the team is dealing with the more issues you will have to deal with. It is a law of the universe. What you put your focus on expands.
So… the real question is what are you focusing on? What do you want to expand? This shift in thinking is not esoteric – the practice is bringing awareness to the situations you are dealing with individually and as a team. Once you have your hands around the facts; it is time to shift your focus to the solutions……Stop and ask yourself – what am I focusing on right now? If your attention is on rehashing the issue, give “the issue” some space, and come back to it.
All solutions already exist and the key is shifting focus from feelings of angst and worry and effort to feelings of ease, creativity, and the team thinking together. That is the true Power of Focus.