Have you ever sat in a room with a bunch of people after a late morning meeting and awkwardly talked about what to do next? Everyone is tentative and polite. No one wants to offend or look foolish. People go out of their way to avoid disagreements or confrontations — and are only trying to decide what to have for lunch!
Everyone has a good intent; keeping others happy to sustain the status quo. The problem is that the status quo is unsustainable. If this continues, lunchtime will be over, and no one will eat. Then performance for the rest of the day is shot, with some people resentful and others beating themselves up for not making a decision.
The next day, same room. One person is polite but not tentative. They do not think about acting foolish or offending people, not because they are careless, but because their concern for such things matches the level of the decision to be made. They may not enjoy disagreements and confrontation but do not shy away from them. They know navigating differences is how to achieve preferences. This person declares a lunch spot and then acts. Some, likely most, will follow. Others will not, for a myriad of legitimate reasons. That does not prevent anyone from eating.
Hint: Substitute lunch with a problem you have not acted on yet.
Leaders lead, no matter the circumstance. Given the opportunity, they take it. They adjust to the results. In cases bigger or smaller than lunch, don’t sit around. Be ready to lead.
Focus Can Be Difficult
Focus is difficult with so many welcome and unwelcome distractions in our world. The challenge is difficult if you don’t know your vision, purpose, and values.
- Begin to define them so your decision-making can get easier.
- List an immediate goal, a short-term goal, and a long-term goal.
- Each day, do something that supports those goals and keeps you aligned with your vision, purpose, and values.
It’s not easy. It does get easier.
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