We’ve all heard the expression, “Keep your eyes on the prize.” Of course, we all know it means to stay focused on what’s really important in your business and life. But, in reality, how much time do you spend making sure you’re focusing on the right things? In my time coaching, leading and shaking things up, I’ve seen the mistakes over and over in regards to focus, and it kills me a little bit every time. Why do we cling to these mistakes?
I’m sick of it for you, my friends. It’s not what I want for me, and it’s certainly not what I want for you. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some very focused people who’ve driven their teams to great success in the home service industry (and beyond), and I’ve learned from them. Here are four essential steps I’ve picked up in how to stay and keep focused on saving your business and making it grow.
1. Start with the end goal in mind
The first step of focused leadership is obvious to everyone. We want to keep the end in mind. This is where that saying from earlier comes in. Most people do this, but they fail to follow through with the rest of the steps.
This is where your primary purpose and goals for your team and business come into play. Take some time to really be specific about what it is you want and what you want your team to do. It’s OK to make shoot-for-the-moon goals, as long as you realize you may not get there right away.
After taking the time to set your goals, now you need to discuss, list and strategize the steps and milestones along the way you’ll shoot for. These little signposts will help keep you motivated to work longer and also keep you focused when things get tough.
After setting these goals and getting your plans sort of in place, be sure to share this with your stakeholders and the leadership on your team. I’d even encourage you to share the key ideas of your overall dream and goals with every member of your team, so they can see why they’re doing what they’re doing and the bigger picture they are part of. After all, the whole team is working toward this goal; they want to see how they help everything progress, too.
2. Get the right tools and people in place
Here is where most leaders start to fall short in their focused goals. They have the “why” in place, but they fail to follow through with setting up the people and resources they need to get it done.
Focused leaders move quickly onto what they need. Ask yourself:
- Who needs to be or is best placed on my team to help with this goal?
- What training does my team need to get this done better?
- Are there tools we can implement to help the process? and
- Is everything we’re doing working toward the same goal, or have we lost focus in other areas?
Reflect, share, discuss and reflect again. Take steps to help your individual team members step into their purpose and strength with your focus in mind. Without setting this up now, it’s like you’re a baseball coach who’s got the pitcher playing in left field and the shortstop is the catcher. Yeah, they may be able to do a decent job, but is it really where their strengths lie? Are you setting yourself up for the win?
Get the right people in the right spot with the right training. This is a key part of focused leadership.
3. Watch out for challenges
Show me someone who said their plans went off without a hitch, and I’ll show you a liar. No plan, no goal and no team works with zero problems. Challenges live around every corner, and it’s the leader’s job to deal with them.
A focused leader can anticipate some of what to look out for. You need to think ahead and guess what may be a problem on your focused path. Then, come up with potential plans. But here’s the danger a lot of folks fall into: Don’t watch the problems so closely you forget where you’re heading.
Some problems are minor and some are huge. But your goals were probably good ones. The challenges don’t make them impossible in most cases, but it will mean you need to adapt. Keep your endgame in mind, anticipate the challenges and when they show up, deal with them in a way that honors your focus.
4. Go all out
Goal setting, team building and challenge-watching set you up, but when the rubber hits the road, it’s time to go all out — 100% with everything you’ve got toward your focused goal. Things will come up and distract you. Stay focused. Challenges will pop up. Deal with them and get back on track.
This is where regular reflection will help you a ton. By spending time daily or at least once per week thinking about your team, business and personal leadership, you’ll catch yourself when you’re slacking. You’ll be able to address those challenges in a focused way. You’ll realize when someone on your team doesn’t have the training they need to be successful, or they may be better suited to a different spot on the team.
Being a leader in your business is a big responsibility, and failing to keep the focus may be disastrous. You have the power to lead your team astray. You have the power to set people up for failure by putting them in the wrong spots or failing to give them the right tools to work with — it’s scary.
But you also have the power to make everything you lead grow, break through barriers and be more successful than ever before. Find your focus, set up your people, anticipate challenges and go all out. Watch your business step into its greatness!
VectorInspiration/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images