Monthly Archives: June 2015

Want to make an impact? Shift your focus.

focus to impactThe human eye has an amazing ability to shift its focus from far in the distance to right in front of us in an instant. Touch screens use “Pinch to Zoom” to shift the focus of a picture, document, or webpage in and out using two fingers.

Whether we focus on the eye or touch screens, the ability to shift your focus is paramount to having an impact on anything.

Repeat these three steps continuously to have successful impact:


Start with a distant focus

In leadership we often talk about setting a vision. Vision is where you paint the picture of success that allows you to build the plan to achieve it.

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”­ – Vincent Van Gogh

Zoom in to a near focus

If you want to impact the world, start with impacting your company. If you want to impact your company, start with impacting your team. If you want to impact your team, start with impacting one individual.

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney

 Expand back to the distant focus

Once we get involved in the day to day plans it’s easy to forget why we are doing what we do. The road to success is often long and winding. Unless you expand your focus once in a while you won’t know if you are still on track.

“Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal.” – Mario Andretti


Pause, and let life catch up

einstein_bike pause to think

Are things going the way you want them – your career, your company, your project? Whether they are or not you should take time to pause once in a while.

Are you sure that you are heading in the right direction? Whether you think you are or not, you should pause every so often.

It’s important to take time to pause, and let life catch up.


A pause lets you think

When asked about his Special Theory of Relativity, Albert Einstein is reported to have quipped, “I thought of it while riding my bicycle.” Talk about a pause that changed the world.

Think what you could do if you paused to think on a regular basis. Ok, so you might not discover how space and time interact like Einstein did, but you could be one step closer to a breakthrough in your field if you would take time to pause and think.

A pause lets you see the whole picture.

In music, the pause is just as important as the notes. The whole piece is made up of many beats where there is no sound as well as beats where there is sound. In comedy, timing is everything. The master of waiting for the right moment was Jack Benny. His advice was, “It’s not so much knowing when to speak, as when to pause.”

If you are always doing something, you can’t see how what you have done is fitting together. Pause and take a step back to see the whole picture so you don’t get too narrowly focused on any one thing.

A pause lets you plan

Once you pause to think and take a look at the big picture, it would be a waste if you didn’t take what you now know and make it part of your future plan. Time management expert Alan Lakein once said that, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

Pause, read the signs, and make sure you are still heading in the right direction.

What to do with an unsolvable problem.

Question MarkToo many times people face problems that they deem unsolvable. They stop trying to solve the problem by saying, “It is what it is.”

But is it?

An unsolvable problem is really just a problem where the solution has not yet been identified.

Why do some people solve enormous problems while others give up? According to Bill Hybels, “Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution.”

Here are the steps that will help you solve those unsolvable problems:


Just because you can’t see the answer to a problem doesn’t mean the answer isn’t already there. The odds are that someone, somewhere, has faced the same problem and at least stumbled upon the answer. Trust that you will find it, somewhere else, if you look.

“If you’re a leader and you’re the smartest guy in the world, or in the room, you’ve got real problems.” – Jack Welch


Prepare yourself to hang on long enough to find that solution. Look around you. Where are other successes happening? Who is having those successes? How are they having those successes? Select from the many choices you will find and take hold of what will work for your problem.

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”– Albert Einstein


Now that you have decided to solve the unsolvable problem, and you chose the right solution, commit to give it all you’ve got.

“It’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” – Mario Andretti

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