Biggest Leadership Challenges #1 – Staying Focused

I came across many top 10 lists of challenges for business leaders. But then I realized the #1 issue was “staying focused”.

As I was tooling around the web looking at what was trending, I came across many top 10 lists of challenges for business leaders. I thought, “This is good. I can address these issues and help CEOs make faster, better decisions, more quickly getting to their definition of success.” But then I realized the #1 issue was staying focused. How apropos—go off focus to talk about staying on focus. How trite. How delightful.

So, I focused on it. It’s in my core strengths, my sweet spot, my signature element: Positive Accountability.

If you’re cranking out 20% profit and 25% growth, ignore this blog. Go back to work. Take a vacation. But if you’re not riding the Big Mo (momentum) than this is for you.

 “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

Get Strong

If you’re not at the top of your game, don’t go looking for something else to do. You’ll just water down your product and sales, and make your team wonder what you’re doing. Instead, strengthen all the important areas of your organization so that you can take on the new and unknown. Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is your marketing killing it? Do you have a great dichotomy between interruption and permission marketing? Are you getting all you want from your customers? Is your customer service the best in the industry? What is the industry saying about your company? Have you done the necessary marketing homework to know where you’re headed?
  1. Is your team ready for the next growth cycle? How are the communication skills of your team—are they ready to step into bigger and faster negotiations? How about individual communication skills? Does everyone on the team know how to deal with crucial conversations? Are you junior leaders coached and mentored so they are ready to handle bigger and better growth?
  1. Can your team handle it? What about your salespeople? Are they at the top of their game or have you put an artificial lid on them because they’re performance is “good enough” (remember good is the enemy of great).
Just because profits are good, doesn’t mean you’re ready to go into the next phase.

Timing is Everything

You need a business health check-up. Just because profits are good, doesn’t mean you’re ready to go into the next phase. I try to walk 5-8 miles every morning. That doesn’t mean I’m ready for the next marathon. It will take quite a bit more to be ready for 26 miles.

Being a strong leader is knowing how to navigate new, ever changing waters. Are you prepared to lead your team into the next level, or have you reached your level of ability?

According to Michael Fogarty, owner, MF Digital Marketing, “The last time there was this amount of capital available (to business owners)—and, therefore, more choices facing CEOs—was [in] 2008. It will tempt some to diversify into the unknown and onboard seemingly unnecessary risk.”

In other words, just because there is a lot of capital available doesn’t mean you need to get it, load up on debt, and take on uncalculated risks. Granted, one of the things that makes us entrepreneurs is the willingness to take more risks than the next guy. But that doesn’t mean we need to throw good money after bad, or too risky, ventures.

Take this time to shore up your operations and team. When they are ready, take the risk if it’s warranted (and don’t if it’s not). Everybody has a lid on their abilities—everybody—you and me. Get your team better leadership, productivity, and personal growth skills. Start grooming the next team now as your core team is groomed to move up. Plan where the next steps need to pay out and be there before you take on something new. If you don’t plan, then, when your core starts to hurt, you will need to pull energy, funds, and personnel from the new ventures to shore it up—and that will kill your new efforts. It’s lose-lose.


Do the homework. Get the training and coaching needed to have your team ready—and then soar into the new area—take it by storm. It may not need much—it may need a lot. But be ready! Get good first!

MAKE it a great day!