As a leader, you have no shortage of opportunities that cross your path. This is both a blessing and a curse, as most leaders say “yes” too often because they don’t want to miss out on an opportunity. This mindset of saying yes to everything is killing leaders and stopping them from becoming great, because you can’t do everything well.
To be a Great Leader, you must have FOCUS!
Mental Focus is key to great leadership. To build Mental Focus, leaders must create practices, support structures, and accountabilities to fuel their capabilities.
Become a Master of Being Mentally Focused:
Component One: Practices
“Quality of Attention” to improve mental focus comes through practices like Meditation/Breathing, Visualization, Self-Reflection, Power of the Pause (managing your emotions when you get emotionally triggered), Journaling, and Acknowledging your accomplishments.
Component Two: Support Structures
- People – who in your network is supporting you in keeping you mentally focused on executing on your top priorities?
- Systems/Processes – do you have a time management system that keeps you mentally focused on executing on your top priorities? For example, if one of your top priorities in a week is to have 90 minutes of self-reflection time, is this time scheduled in your calendar?
- Practices – daily practices to support your ability to strengthen your “Quality of Attention” to be mentally focused when you need to be.
- Tools – tools such as templates, checklists, and processes are all great for automating certain things in your life so you can focus on more important tasks at hand.
Component Three: Accountabilities
Accountability starts with your “ability to count” and “account” for the choices you have made.
How disciplined are you at “counting” in your life? Do you count steps in a day, calories consumed, balance in your financial accounts, hours in the day, or time spent on relationships? Counting is vital to ensuring your time, money and energy are going towards things that really matter to you, and things that you can use to create future possibilities. When you don’t count things in your life, they will have power over you; they control you rather than you controlling them.
Here are some examples of things you want to count to support your ability to maintain mental focus vs spending your valuable time in mental worry (which doesn’t serve you or your future):
- Your top priorities
- Meditating/deep breathing
- Looking for things that have been misplaced
- Accomplishments – day/week/month/year
- Counting how many times in a day you get Emotionally Triggered from conversations
- Counting/aware of what you allow into your mind – What you read, What you listen to, What you watch, What you talk about, Who you spend time with
All leaders have the same 24 hours in a day to create. The difference between Great Leaders and Good Leaders is how they are able to focus their time on executing their top priorities and creating new possibilities.
“Always remember your focus determines your reality” – George Lucas
Your Weekly Leadership Challenge:
If you want to improve your “Quality of Attention” to support your ability to be able to Mentally Focus when you need to, then step back and evaluate the three cornerstones of Mental Focus – Practices, Support Structures and Accountabilities and do a quality self-assessment to see what is missing for you to improve your “Mental Focus”!