What does it take to gain the focus required to become a truly effective leader?
The Apostle Paul had absolute focus on his mission – a focus that enabled him to let go of everything that was not critical to his mission. In Philippians 3:5-9, Paul willingly discarded his heritage, his lineage, his former legalism, and his past zeal in order to advance his mission.
Paul’s focus was so sharp that he discarded everything he once counted gain. But he goes beyond that: he counted everything as garbage for the sake of obtaining Christ.
Leaders who want to change the world need to have this same kind of sharp focus. 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.
John Maxwell, writing in The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader says that leaders base their decisions on a variety of things:
- The Ultimate – First things first
- The Urgent – Loud things first
- The Unpleasant – Hard things first
- The Unfinished – Last things first
- 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:
- Work on yourself: you are your greatest asset or worst liability
- Work on your priorities: fight for the important ones
- Work in your strengths: you can reach your potential if you do
- Work with your colleagues: you can’t be effective alone
Focus on the ultimate, and your vision will become sharper.
inspired by and adapted from The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell