Where You Look is Where You Go!
You’ve heard this in various forms, I’m sure. It’s common in sports and you’ll hear it in motorcycle rider-training. Unfortunately, it’s not commonly applied in organizations. Often we see organizations develop 5, 10, or even 20+ goals for a given year? With too many goals, rarely is there clarity about which one or two goals are most critical. The result is a dilution of the organization’s available attention.
This message is delivered repeatedly by many business leaders and authors and I am repeating it here. “The first discipline is to focus your effort on the one or two goals that will make all the difference, instead of giving mediocre effort to dozens of goals”1.
Evidence shown in neuroscience helps us understand that our efforts to create a clear focus is much like our efforts strengthen a muscle group. “Over time, paying enough attention to any specific brain connection keeps the relevant circuitry open and dynamically alive” 2. In other words, the more we maintain our focus on something, the more the brain wires itself to bring about that thing’s reality.
I would invite you to ask yourself where you are placing your focus? What mechanisms do you have in place to continuously remind yourself of this focus? For if you are to be who you want to be and achieve your desired goals, you must be crystal clear about your primary focus.
For a fun demonstration on how the brain is wired to help make our focus a reality, check out this short demonstration. While you do, know that the bits of motion in the background represent the “busyness” of your day-to-day (a.k.a: distractions), and the five points on the screen can represent five different goals.
- McChesney, Covey, & Huling, The 4 Disciplines of Execution, 2012
- Rock & Schwartz, The Neuroscience of Leadership, 2006