Successful leaders know that their toughest leadership assignment is themselves. They are keenly focused on the needs of their teams, their company, and their customers. What do successful leaders need to focus on to lead themselves? They need to eliminate distractions – if they want to remain successful.
Distractions that are the most difficult to conquer are subtle and internally driven. Anything that keeps us from focusing on the ultimate goals and the path that leads there is a distraction. Distractions can derail our ability to grow and be the best we can be if we let them.
Robin Sharma said, “We are so deep into daily distractions and ‘being busy’ that we miss out on those moments that – if jumped on – would get our careers and personal lives to a whole new level of wow.”
Three internal distractions that leaders need to eliminate take place in their thinking, speaking and doing.
Distractions in thinking, speaking, and doing
Thinking. All leaders have to think; they key is what you think about. The easiest way to be distracted in your thinking is to focus on things other than that which will help you achieve your goals. Don’t think about the great assignments, or titles, or anything else that other people have. You may want to achieve the same stature someday, but you won’t get there by thinking about what they have; you get there by focusing on what you have – your goals.
“If you think the grass is greener on the other side then water your lawn.”- John Maxwell
Speaking. Verbal communication is very important in leadership. Don’t let your conversations become a distraction. Choose your words, think before you speak, and speak succinctly. Don’t over explain or under explain. Don’t over talk or under talk. Look for a balance in your speaking.
“The conversation should be about what you say, not how you say it.” – Denis G. McLaughlin
Doing. Make it real, this is where it all comes together. If you lead without distractions you will think about your goals, talk about your goals and execute your goals.
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.” – Christopher Columbus