FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS – I Know BUT…

This week I sent the alarms off in nearly every area of my life.  I had unintentionally lit fires and over complicated my already full calendar.  Please tell me, you have done the same at least once in your life ;0).

Last night I hit the STOP button, PAUSED, and ASKED, Chris, What the heck are you doing?  I literally smiled and thought about the excitement I have for my VISION.  I was excited about all the great plans I had created.  I was thrilled with the ‘Brilliance” of my strategy.  I could see everything falling into place.  I was after all a great leader and could move an army of people to accomplish great things in a relatively short time.

I was jazzed, I smiled and then I looked around me.  Something was missing.   Oh, yeah the details, that is the thing that am an expert at leaning on others for when I want to create excellence.

“ To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail.”  Giorgio Armani.

I am the big picture visionary strategist and I love being surrounded by incredibly talented people passionate about the detail they can bring to the vision.

I had so fully embraced my vision, I was living FROM my vision and like any great executive I was executing the strategy.  Then like a ton of bricks and it hit me.  That is what my great mentor was referring to.  IF I HAD A TEAM of 20 or 30 people working with me RIGHT now, my plan would be great.

The key word is ‘IF’. Oops. Out of habit, years of leading hundreds, working with large organization, I naturally gravitated back to my strengths.  I had RESET TO ZERO and so DID MY TEAM.   Fortunately I know I am not great with details so my first addition to my team was my amazing assistant.  She is like wonder woman, however the team is still only TWO, not twenty two like I had planned for.

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Now what?  No wonder I was setting off alarms, I had hit FIRE and AIM.  I just happened to miss a very important 1st step – the READY button.  TIME to GET REAL, I AM NOT READY to execute all of these great ideas, even though I so clearly see them, how to lead them.  UGH!!!

As my heart sank I started to laugh, how funny, the great execution and strategy consultant, did exactly what she tries to get all of her clients to stop doing.  She forgot to FOCUS on ONE WILDLY Important GOAL. Just ONE.  Not two.  Not three and by all means NOT TEN.    Just ONE.  UNO.  NO MAS.  I cracked myself up sometimes.

Oh, what a humbling experience this has been.  It had been years since I ran so fast down this path and I KNOW BETTER.  I didn’t even slow down to see the warning signs.

 

The 4 Steps I took to refocus, and regain the FREEDOM of my PASSION.

1)    I cleared the plate. Wiped it clean except for ONE MAJOR project.  Deep down I knew if I didn’t accomplish this ONE all of those other brilliant ideas couldn’t happen anyway.  Choosing the ONE thing wasn’t even that hard, it was the canceling of flights, renegotiating commitments, asking for refunds, paying penalties, sending letters of apologies, making several phone calls AND deciding to re-FOCUS that was the humbling part.  I will add AND a VERY FREEING experience.  I can breathe again. ;0)

2)    I narrowed the project scope of the ONE thing.  It absolutely was the right project AND it needed to be rolled out in phases to ensure excellence.  By slicing the project into phases I would be able to validate that what I was envisioning is what we were actually creating.  Imagine that!!!

3)    I laughed with my small, yet mighty and brilliant team.  I shared the details of mess I got myself into. I explained my plans moving forward. I asked for their insight – what was I missing?  We agreed the new plan helped us all breath AND we agreed to help each other stay focused on just the ONE THING.

4)    Lastly I FORGAVE myself. – LET IT GO !!!  I knew it would not serve me well to beat myself up at least for more than a minute.  I laughed, smiled, and decided to tell on myself.  I reshaped the experience and attached a new meaning to it:  “At least I now have another funny story to share.” 

Sometimes I get caught up in life, take it too seriously.  I have discovered when I am willing to be transparent, vulnerable, and allow my team to challenge my actions my vision has a better chance of surviving.  AND WHEN I add a dose of laughter I KNOW for sure my vision will become a reality.   Thank you for laughing with me.

“ Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from and event, deal with it and then move on.”  Bob Newhart

“ If you’re too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”  Proverb