Saturday, July 16, 2016

Good leaders focus, notice but don't always fix


Good leaders are always focused - on a few critical areas that if they do not drive themselves the organization will not thrive and move forward. This is not as easy as it sounds. First one has to determine what those few critical areas are. Second, it takes a great deal of discipline for leaders to focus and not be distracted by many lesser things that need to wait so that the critical issues are addressed. It is their job to determine what those issues are and then to focus on two to three at a time.

The discipline of focus is a critical component of a leader's skill set. They naturally see many things that need to be addressed and the temptation is to do many things at once. Not only does it not work but it drives staff crazy who need to deal with the many things a leader might want to fix or do differently.

This does not mean that leaders do not pay attention to many things. They are constantly paying attention to what they see, hear or discover. They are naturally curious and asking questions. They have many conversations with staff to discern what is happening. But - and this is critical - they are able to assimilate a lot of information without automatically trying to fix what they find. 

Why? Because it is not their job to fix everything but to focus on a few key things. Second, they bide their time until they have a chance to explore their findings or observations with the appropriate individual without being controlling or micro managing. It means they are willing to think grey on some issues until the time is right to address it in a way that does not violate others or take on their responsibility. 

Good leaders:
  • Focus on a few critical things
  • Notice what goes on around them
  • Think grey on lesser problems
  • Wait for an appropriate time to address lesser problems with those who are ultimately responsible
For most this will be a skill that is learned and not innate. But it is a critical skill if the organization is going to grow.



TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com.

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