How to Focus Your Influence
Focusing your limited management attention on areas that both need it and will benefit from it is a critical skill. Let’s review indicators that the way you are allocating this precious resource may need some rethinking.
Have you ever experienced these feelings?
- You sense that your organizational strengths are not being leveraged to their full potential?
- You feel good about an area that is performing well, but later you discover that, without your noticing, it has slipped a bit or even gone backwards?
- You feel frustrated pouring energy and attention into areas of the organization that soak up your time and talent, but seem to resist your best efforts to change or improve them?
- You sense there are areas of performance that would respond to your attention, but you aren’t able to get to them?
These are signs that you need to reflect on where and how you direct your management attention. You need a perspective or frame of reference that helps you judge where to push, and where to relent. Stepping back and looking at the dynamics in play is useful. Is this performance going well, or not going well? Is this situation firm, and unchanging, or flexible? Here is our Top 5 list of When It’s Time to Review How You Focus Your Influence:
- When convening your management team, you ask them where their pain is, and then mobilize creative thinking from fellow team members to fix it.
- When interacting with members of your organization, you ask what is working well, and engage with your employees on how to build on those successes.
- When reviewing organizational performance with your management team, you recognize when some units are not performing well, and are resisting change, and make plans to cut your losses.
- When you hear yourself telling yourself, “This area is going well. And even though the situation is fluid, other areas need my attention more.” And then you drop focus from it.
- When setting your annual performance goals, and considering where to invest your energy, and where to pull back.
Doing this reflection will yield tangible benefits, including:
- Ensuring that your attention is invested where it can do the most good
- Giving yourself the satisfaction of making the biggest difference with the time and energy you have available
- Moving your organization forward with the optimal mix of pushing, pulling, and letting go
Learn a simple yet powerful tool for focusing your management influence here.