As a leader, you need to stay focused and avoid distractions
Every day we are bombarded with things that are vying for our attention. From the moment we wake up in the morning and look at our phone until we go to sleep at night we are faced with advertising, notifications, and ever more sophisticated algorithms with a single purpose. It requires incredible resolve to resist these temptations.
Business leaders face the same challenges within their organisations. Rarely do they have enough time to do everything they need to do. Leaders must prioritise their time and their focus if they are to achieve anything in their day-to-day.
A common expression taught to executives is to do less and complete more. This is easier said than done. However, I have found a 3-stage funnel that is very helpful in focusing an executive’s time and attention.
1) Business Prospects – At the top of the funnel, are all the shiny objects. This is all the initial meetings, the ideas that are brought to you, the people you meet and all the different opportunities that arise. You need these but you don’t need only these. If nothing is progressed beyond this, then nothing is ever achieved.
2) High Probability – The 2nd stage of the funnel is for opportunities that appear worth pursuing. These have been confirmed, measured, and tested for viability. Someone has been assigned the task of owning the item and it is more likely than not that it will be proceeded with.
3) Closure – At the final stage of the funnel there should be a focus and commitment to getting the item completed. Whether this is an idea to be implemented, a relationship forged, or a venture undertaken. By this stage, there would have been considerable effort invested and it would be a shame for it not to be concluded.
TAKEAWAY: Turning distractions into productive outcomes should be the focus of every leader. Failure to follow through on prospects as they arise has an opportunity cost to your business. The funnel presented above allows executives to gain value out of these everyday distractions.