The Power of Focus

For several years, we enjoyed boating around Seattle. We had a 20-foot ski-boat that our family and friends used for lots of recreational fun. Great memories were made on that boat!

Last summer, one of my clients invited me on his large, luxurious yacht. No joke, this was the real deal! After giving me some very basic (rookie) instructions, he said, “Take the helm, Steve! Just point the bow toward that buoy in the distance and I’ll grab us a drink. I’ll be right back.” It was exhilarating and incredibly empowering to be captain for a few minutes. I felt like I was on the Titanic! Between the wind, the waves, the breeze from being in motion, the seagulls, the beautiful mountains in the distance, and great company, it was a beautiful view! What a life!!!

By the time my friend got back he said, “Steve you’ve drifted off course… remember the buoy?” I quietly slid into the “co-captain” chair to let him take over, as I got distracted. I couldn’t believe how quickly I drifted off course – bad rookie mistake, that’s for sure!

One of the most important qualities is focus. As you can see here, I lost focus while being in charge but we got back on course accordingly. Without focus, it is impossible to move forward to achieve your goals in business and in life.

Here are four corner stone reminders regarding focus:
1. Establish a daily agenda – based on ROI (key relationships, desired outcomes, and daily improvements)
2. Do tough things first – prioritize
3. Show discipline and get off your phone!
4. Spend 60-80% of your time on MVPs (most valuable and profitable work/clients)

You will still have 20-40% of each day to deal with interruptions, requests, putting out fires, and lower level priorities.

Here’s to keeping an eye on your buoy!

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.