Go Ye Therefore

Leadership Qualities: Focus Part 4

Letting Go-Philippians 3:5-9 (positive)

Paul’s absolute focus gave him an absolute willingness to let go of nice things that didn’t matter. Note some items he discarded:

  1. His heritage: a Hebrew of the Hebrews
  2. His pure lineage: from the tribe of Benjamin
  3. His former legalism: a strict Pharisee
  4. His past zeal: a persecutor of the church
  5. His self-righteousness: a blameless life

Paul so narrowed his focus that he discarded not only the things he once counted as gain, but he counted everything as garbage for the sake of obtaining Christ! He would lose it all if that allowed him to gain intimacy with Christ.

Leaders who change the world have this kind of sharp focus. Think about the leaders of the Bible and the focus they had to bring about revolutionary change:

  1. Abraham left his homeland, wealth, and friends for a new land because he focused on an unseen kingdom.
  2. Joseph had strength to endure hardship and prisons because his dream focused on the greatness of God.
  3. Moses could turn his back on Egypt because he focused on God’s plan.
  4. Stephen preached an unpopular message and died a martyr because of his focus.
  5. Paul gave everything up and said, “This one thing I do.”
  6. Jesus told Martha, “Only one thing is necessary.”

What does it take to gain the focus required to become a truly effective leader? The keys are priorities and concentration. A leader who knows his priorities but lacks concentration knows what to do, but never gets it done. A leader with concentration but no priorities has excellence without progress. But when leaders harness both, they gain the potential to achieve great things.

People base their decisions on a variety of things:

  1. The Ultimate: first things first.
  2. The Urgent: loud things first.
  3. The Unpleasant: hard things first.
  4. The Unfinished: last things first.
  5. The Unfulfilling: dull things first.

Paul exemplifies a leader who focused on the ultimate every day. How about you? To get back on track with your focus, work on these items:

  1. Work on yourself. You are your greatest asset or worst liability.
  2. Work on your priorities. Fight for the important ones.
  3. Work in your strengths. You can reach your potential if you do.
  4. Work with your colleagues. You can’t be effective alone.

Join me next time for Leadership Qualities: Focus Part 5