This past weekend I once again watched Tiger Woods put away the competition - and play amazing golf. As a fairly new golfer, I always wonder at how Tiger makes it look so easy. I know that it comes with practice, but there is something special about the way he plays...and I think it has to do with FOCUS.
Much has been written about the power of focus, beginning with Tim Green's The Inner Game of Tennis and more recently with Jim Collins' Good to Great (At what can you be the best in the world?). Focus takes excellence to the next level. It is one thing to be good at what one does - it is another thing to be great at what one does. Tiger Woods is a great golfer (the best ever?) mostly as a result of his intense focus.
What does focus look like in leadership? It begins with blocking out other distractions (read: crowd) - what will you say NO to so you can focus on that which is the most important? Another area of focus has to be putting yourself in a place (read: lie) to make the best decision you can each time you are faced with a problem. Another area of focus is having the right tools (read: clubs) and knowing exactly how those tools will work as you make decisions. Another area of focus is having someone (read:caddie) who you will listen to even when they might seem wrong. Another area of focus is finishing strong (read: putt) whatever you begin.
When we take on the challenge of being excellent in our leadership - of focusing our energies to be the best at what we do - people will willingly follow...and changes will be made that have an impact on the world. After all, isn't that what leadership is really all about?