14 Jul '13
The power of focus
Those of us who lead others have a special responsibility to keep those they lead focused on the most important missional activities - those activities and priorities which will help accomplish your mission.
Mission drift often occurs because our attention is diverted from the most important to ancillary issues. Or, because we are too busy with all of the stuff that comes our way - email, phone calls, meetings, problems that need solving - we simply lose focus on what is most important.
The leader of a church of 7,000+ told me not long ago that he realized that their church had been on "auto pilot" for the past year because his attention had been diverted to other things. He owned the issue and again took the helm to lead but it he acknowledged that when he went on auto pilot so did everyone else and significant momentum was lost by the diffusion of purpose.
If leaders do not stay focused those they lead will not either. Because this is often the case, many ministries settle for OK results instead of great results.
Don't get me wrong. It is not that we are not busy. It is that we are so busy that we are not focused on what is most important.
I asked some senior leaders recently how they stay focused on what is most important for their organization. One of them has a white board in their office that reminds him of the most important things he needs to pay attention to. Another said that regular dialogue with a colleague on missional issues was the most helpful to keep him focused. One indicated that he took one day a month to think through his Key Result Areas and remind himself of his priorities.
Staying focused on the big rocks is a challenge even for the most competent leaders because of the incessant demands that divert that focus. What is necessary is developing a strategy to refocus on a regular basis.
Of course this assumes that leaders have clearly defined the priorities of their organization or team and have a clear picture of their priorities and direction.