Leadership Tip of the Day: Focus

I am excited to announce our new “Tip of the Day” series. We’ll be bringing you various tips on anything from Leadership to E-Commerce to Email Marketing to Communication and beyond. This one comes to you from my manager, Amol Tembe. Enjoy!

Ford CEO, Alan Mulally, says, “You can’t be world-class in 93 things.” MP900438755

Cutting the entire Mercury line, killing the Crown Victoria, selling Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and reducing its stake in Mazda are just a few of the adjustments the Ford team made to move the company from the bottom of Consumer Reports rankings to the top.

How do we combat this ‘Initiative Overload’ that we’re all guilty of from time to time? How do we forgive ourselves for not being ‘world-class at 93 things?’

The answer: Limit those ‘things’ to three, two or even one per month. When we get our entire team behind just a few key ideas each month, we get much deeper and further into that initiative, and we’re focused. We feel more successful when we’re focused, right? That’s because we are! The next month, begin another.

For those of us who are managing cross-functional teams, we may be picking two or three per team, but the philosophy remains the same.

Start for September now. What items do you want to work on? Are they one or three month projects (or longer)? Write them down on your control documents, pick a champion, someone besides you who can take the ball and run with it, and watch the focus lead to success.

Mr. Mulally was also the former CEO of Boeing, and considering the amount of moving parts that goes into both autos and commercial aviation, he’s a Chief Executive I want to listen to when it comes to focus.