Decide to focus

The Focused State” is some­thing you may be look­ing to reach. You may have reached it once or twice before but find that it’s hard to repli­cate and repro­duce on com­mand.

You may blame your boss, spouse, or lack of time. You’ll blame any­thing and any­one. I’ve been there.

Choosing to focus takes effort.

Focus takes dis­ci­pline and per­spec­tive to make good deci­sions on what you need to focus on and why it is appro­pri­ate for right now.

But what we often miss with focus is that it’s a deci­sion. You and I must DECIDE to focus — to qui­et the voice that says we need to be work­ing on some­thing else.

Focus is a decision

When you make the deci­sion to focus, you direct your atten­tion away from the triv­ial and toward a top­ic. You block out dis­trac­tions and clar­i­fy the win. You decide what will con­sume your atten­tion and how far you need to get before you’re will­ing to let up.

Choose to focus

You have a choice today. You can decide to focus. Or you can let some­one else do it for you.

The Green Stamp

In your orga­ni­za­tion, busi­ness, or life, who has the green stamp?

The green stamp is the spe­cial “mark of approval” required to move for­ward with some­thing impor­tant.

The green ink isn’t so impor­tant. It’s the stamp itself — and who has it.

Usu­al­ly, we skip the step to fig­ure out WHO has the green stamp and WHAT cri­te­ria is being used before its giv­en. So instead of doing the hard work to fig­ure out the WHO and WHAT, we walk around mak­ing deci­sions we thought we were allowed to make . . . only to fig­ure out we real­ly didn’t have the green stamp.

Some boss­es like to keep the green stamp locked up and out of sight because it gives them­selves a feel­ing of author­i­ty and con­trol. Great lead­ers give the green stamp away. They let oth­ers get things done based on cri­te­ria that makes sense for the project.

Your job — no mat­ter where you are in your orga­ni­za­tion — is 1) to fig­ure out who has the green stamp, 2) define the cri­te­ria, and 3) fig­ure out how you can give the green stamp away.

If our per­son­al pref­er­ences dri­ve every­thing we do, mas­sive growth can’t hap­pen.