Get Results by Getting Focused

by Cathy Shaughnessy, ICF Master Certified Coach

I've been looking at the research contained in Heike Bruch's and Sumantra Ghoshal's study, published in A Bias for Action. The study occurred over a 10-year period, revealing surprising data about how managers spend their time.

Only 10 percent of managers report they are highly focused, energetic, and come across as reflective and calm even amid chaos.

The authors propose that willpower is the force behind energy and focus, enabling managers to execute disciplined action. Purposeful leaders are committed to achieving results and, no matter what, will not give up.

In addition to energy, the second critical element of purposeful action is focus: energy channeled toward a specific outcome. Focused managers can concentrate in spite of the many distractions that interrupt their days.

You can sharpen your focus by taking the following steps:

Visualize your intention by asking yourself: What does my intention look like? What simple image can I keep in my mind when I need to remember my intention?How can I accomplish my intention? What specific steps will I need to take to reach it?

Make a personal commitment by asking yourself: Does this particular intention feel right? Do I really want it? Does my intention excite me? Is it something for which I can maintain my passion and commitment, even when obstacles arise?Does my intention jibe with my personal values and beliefs? Can I stand behind it with head and heart?

As a leader, becoming focused and purposeful takes place with intentional action and efforts. Many find themselves in the heat of battle, putting out fires, and fail to maintain a steady course.

It takes willpower, it takes strength, and it takes the willingness to sit down and map out your priorities and intentions. This is one of the reasons business owners find they benefit from outside consultants and business coaches. When you're that close to the action, it's hard to maintain focus.

I know in my own business, I regularly use a mentor and a coach because there's too much to see when I'm immersed in the day-to-day details. I need someone to remind me of the big picture. How about you?

Do you feel overwhelmed by your workload? Grab a copy of my popular e-book Keeping Your Head Without Losing Your Mind. It's free when you sign up to get my posts delivered to your inbox.

Cathy Shaughnessy, ICF Master Certified Coach
Executive Coach, Leadership Coach, Coach Trainer, 360 Feedback , Expert, Mentor Coach

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