Go Ye Therefore

Leadership Qualities: Focus Part 2

Too Many Pursuits-Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (negative)

The old axiom remains true: If you chase two rabbits, both will escape. This was certainly true of Solomon’s futile attempts to reach his varied goals (He pursued eight goals in Ecclesiastes 2 alone!) So, what can we learn from this leader about focus?

  1. He pursued too many things in too short a time.
  2. He pursued the wrong goals to reach his desired outcome.
  3. His self-serving goals were all wrong.
  4. He despaired because he never identified what he really wanted.

Consider the following checklist as you make decisions about where to invest your time and energy. When faced with a decision, ask yourself:

  1. Is this consistent with my priorities?
  2. Is this within my area of competence?
  3. Can someone else do it better?
  4. What do my trusted friends say?
  5. Do I have the time?

When you say “yes” to an opportunity, get ready to focus. Make to-do lists. Set your priorities. Avoid clutter. Pursue excellence, but avoid perfectionism. Question everything. Work to prevent procrastination. Control interruptions and distractions. Use the calendar. Narrow your wedge-don’t try to do everything. That means you’ll have to say no to some good things. And how can you say no gracefully?

  1. Say no to the proposition, not to the person.
  2. Respond in terms that convey the best interest of the person who’s requesting your involvement.
  3. Defer creatively; suggest an alternative.

Join me next time forĀ Leadership Qualities: Focus Part 3