The Leading Edge: A Leadership Focus Despite Distractions
A Leadership Focus Despite Distractions
“As leaders, we need to cut through the distractions we face, maintain our focus and lead on.”
– Deb Ingino, certified John Maxwell Team Coach, Speaker & Teacher
There have always been distractions, but somehow despite living in an era with technology and tools to make our lives easier, we seem to have more distractions than ever before. Then of course when you add on the distractions of, let’s say the holiday season, distractions seem like the new normal.
As leaders, we need to cut through the distractions we face, maintain our focus and lead on.
In his book Leadership Gold, John Maxwell shares a success question: “Am I taking care of today?” John shares that when we do what is required today, we are preparing for the future.
When I began with the John Maxwell Team in March 2011 I was still employed full-time, so from 9:00-5:00 I was focused on my job, then family time. Late at night and into the wee hours of the morning was my focus time to pivot into my business full time. In fact, some months after beginning with the John Maxwell Team, Christmas was fast approaching as was my last day as an employee. Months earlier, I had made the decision that moving into my business full time was the right answer for me. So in December 2011 I had many distractions. Here is how I maintained my focus despite the distractions, and what I share with my clients today.
Finalize what you really want to accomplish. This is especially true for those of us who are over-achievers, who have a very long list of what we want to accomplish, and of course, would prefer a simultaneous execution. The fact is that finalizing what we really want, with a priority established for each target, is the key to developing our focus.
Operate with a list. Whether it’s a yellow legal pad or a note app on your smartphone, in order to remain focused we need to have a list of what we need to do and when. I used to be one of those people who would say, “I have it all up here,” as I pointed to my head. But truth be told, I am a convert to a written list. It has helped me to remain focused despite a barrage of distractions. In fact, crossing items off my list as I complete them brings me sheer joy! Whether it was wrapping gifts, calling prospective clients or dialing into a mentorship call, it needed to be on my list if I was intentional about getting it done.
Calendar ownership is your responsibility. It is so easy to say yes to many meetings that are a priority for one person even if that person isn’t you. We want to add value to others, we want to utilize our strengths, and we need to take responsibility for what is allowed onto our calendar. Of course, if you’re in a job you are not always the ultimate decision maker on your calendar, but where you have the control, take it. Then, of course, there are social events where we get to spend time with our family and friends, and blocking off time on our calendar to ensure we can enjoy that time is key.
Use your strengths. Understanding and utilizing your strengths is the key for maximum productivity. When we are in our strengths, our productivity soars and we are able to accomplish significantly more than if we were operating in our weaknesses. So, if something needs to be done that is not in our strength zone, then collaborating with others in the key. Since each of us do our best work in our strength zone, then as leaders we need to build a network of people with different strengths that complement our own.
Spend time away from your work. 10 years ago I would never have given anyone that advice, nor would I have accepted it. However, I realize today that spending time in something enjoyable that doesn’t have a deadline associated with it is a great way to refresh, refuel and refocus. The time away is not a distraction but rather an intentional way to engage other areas of our mind. Refreshing ourselves allows us to reconnect with a renewed focus on our projects. For me it’s about quiet time, with the sun shining on my face or watching the tide roll in and out, that centers me and brings me energy.
As leaders, we prove our capacity when we gain the ability to focus despite distractions as we add value to today’s world.
Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results.
Her skills were honed through over two decades as VP of Global Brand Operations for Marchon Eyewear. In that senior corporate leadership capacity, Deb worked throughout the world to create and develop leaders and to seed and nurture teams that now serve retailers in more than 80 countries, contributing to the growth of the company from $50M to well over $500M.
In 2008 and 2010 Deb was named one of the most influential women in business by LIBN and is a regular guest on radio and podcast shows.
Deb has shepherded the training of thousands and is a founding partner with her mentor leadership expert John C. Maxwell’s team of certified members. Deb serves on The John Maxwell Team’s President Advisory Council and is a Peer Teaching Partner for his global team of over 12,000 coaches, speakers, and trainers in 147 countries.
With a refreshingly direct style, Deb mentors leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results.
If you want to find out more from Deb check her out at: www.strengthleader.com