The Secret? Diligent, Relentless Focus

The Founder of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, was a focused business leader. Kelleher had a set of values, and every decision made aligned with those values. He maintained relentless focus to those values.

Kelleher states:

“I’ve always thought that having a simple set of values for a company was also a very efficient and expedient way to go. And I’ll tell you why. Because if somebody makes a proposal and it infringes on those values, you don’t study it for two years. You just say, “No, we don’t do that.” And you go on quickly. So I think that contributes to efficiency.”

We have access to more information, more options, and more things demanding our time, it makes it increasingly difficult to focus. The Nobel winning Economist Herbert Simon states:

“…a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention…”

When discussing focus, this does not mean we need to stop day dreaming. What this means, is looking at goals we want to accomplish, and having a relentless focus towards these goals.

Every activity has to move us towards those goals. Focus is a decision making process. Every decision we make either contributes to a goals success or it doesn’t.

Relentless Focus is Difficult

Focusing is difficult. Especially in a business environment which values multi-tasking. I do not think multi-tasking and focusing can be accomplished simultaneously. What I think needs to be valued, is the development of a plan and relentless execution of that plan.

Businesses receive goals. Goals come in the form of quarter projections, customers acquired, or percentage growth. If we apply focus, every activity we do should move us one step closer to achieving these goals.

We can increase our focus in three ways:

Make Focused Decisions

Use a set of goals or values to base all decisions. The list should not be longer than 3 – 5 goals. More than this and your focus can become diluted.

As you begin making decisions with your time and activities, you should seek opportunities which lead you closer to the 3 – 5 goals.

Say No

We hear a lot about saying no. Whether, from Steve Jobs or James Altucher, we can learn from those who have succeeded in saying no.

The goal is to say no to anything which does not align with the 3 – 5 goals we are focused on accomplishing.

Eliminate Distractions

Eliminate the customers which distract you from your goals. These are the customers that consume all your time and do not compensate you for the amount of time they require.

Eliminate the distracting leads, which means get to the qualifying stage fast. Moving on to the next customer is sometimes the fastest way to growth and more revenue.

A disciplined, relentless focus on the goals at hand is the secret to success.

Good luck and good selling!

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