What do you focus on and prioritize as the leader of your business?
Activity is not the same as productivity. Motion does not always signify progress. Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Diligence is not necessarily effectiveness. Faithfulness is never the same as fruitfulness.
Not all efforts bring about results. There is a world of difference between getting things done (busy) and getting results (progress). Telling the difference is what this article is all about. Knowing the difference is what really makes some leaders more successful than others.
Successful leaders are leaders with an eagle’s eye: they practice and live by the principle of focus and priority. They are not activity driven (busy), they are result driven (progress). They don’t care about knowing or doing everything; they are mostly concerned about knowing and doing the main things.
Great leaders are not a repository of everything or anything; they are repositories of only what matters. They don’t see everything, they only see what matters. They don’t go after everything; they only pursue the main things. They see, not as we see; they see through the eyes of the eagle; they see based on priority and they focus only on their vision.
They practice a different kind of leadership; not one based on execution (activity), but one based on contribution (productivity). This is a leadership built on focus and priority; a leadership driven by vision and purpose. This kind of leadership is what I call ‘eagle eye leadership’.
What is eagle eye leadership?
Eagle eye leadership is a kind of leadership practiced mostly by successful leaders in any work of life. It is a kind of leadership based on focus and priority. In other words, eagle eye leadership is a kind of leadership based on focus and priority and is mostly practiced by successful leaders in all works of life.
Eagle eye leadership refers to a leadership hinged upon vision and purpose. It is leadership focused on vision and following a purpose. It’s a leadership pursuing a vision and obeying a purpose. It’s not a survival driven kind of leadership, but a significance driven kind of leadership. It’s not a kind of leadership built on diligence alone (hard work) but also essence (designed work).
This kind of leadership doesn’t just ask “what is to be done?”, but also asks, “Why must it be done?” This kind of leadership doesn’t just work hard (diligence) but only works based on the vision it’s pursuing and a purpose it’s obeying (essence).
Eagle eye leadership is not a reactive kind of leadership that is based on just doing (movement or motion), but a proactive leadership based on improving (progress or contribution). Eagle eye leadership weighs every decision, situation and action against its original vision, destination and intention.
“how does this decision, situation or action play out and affect my initial vision, destination or intention?”
“what is the place or role of this decision, situation or action in my overall intention, destination or vision?”
It doesn’t just do, but does only when it finds a purpose, a place or reason for what needs to be done in the overall scheme of things. Every move, decision and action is tied to a predetermined end, purpose or vision. It is interested in doing only what matters; such things that would significantly affect the bottom-line. That is; the original vision, purpose and objective initially agreed upon. It weighs every action, decision or situation against the ultimate goal, vision or purpose in mind.
Eagle eye leadership is all about focus; a concentrated effort or attention on a particular thing (in this case, a vision) and priority; following or doing only the things with the greatest returns and of the greatest importance (in this case, purpose). Therefore, eagle eye leadership is all about focusing on the vision only and making the fulfillment of the purpose your priority.
In other words,you focus the vision and prioritize the purpose. That is to say, you make the vision your main emphasis and then you put the purpose above in front of all you do. This is what I mean; your task as the leader is to make the vision of the business your destination (focus) and make the purpose why you are in business your number one goal or objective (priority).
Focus the vision
The vision is the mental picture of the business in the mind of the leader, it could be an image or concept conceived through imagination. The vision often refers to where or what the leader perceives and sees the business to be in the nearest future.
The vision is a mental projection of the business, a mental destination for the business. It is usually future–bound. What tomorrow will look like, where we want to be in some year’s time, how big we hope to be.
The vision is the mental picture of a better or preferable future for the business. This is what the leader must emphasize on. A business without a vision is a business without direction. There’s only one place such a business will end up; nowhere!
Prioritize the Purpose
The purpose is the original reason why the business was created. It is the initial intent of the founder of the business. The purpose is why the business exists; why they open up for business everyday, and why they ever considered starting up such a business in the first place.
The purpose usually is determined in the past long before the business came into existence. It is the foundation on which the business was built; this is why it’s seldom changed. The purpose dwells on the outcome of the business, it doesn’t focus on outputs.
Outputs are the exact goods or services offered by the business to the market, while outcomes are those needs being met by the goods and services produced. While the vision of a business can always be changed since it’s something you project, the purpose most times remains unchanging unless it’s no longer of relevance to the market. The purpose is not something the leader sees and decides to obey or follow. The purpose of a business is often the need the business was created to meet or fulfill.