I was speaking to an audience of about eighty people in a downtown Toronto hotel ballroom during a leadership meeting for a financial services client. In the middle of my presentation, the service door behind me opened; and in walked a hotel employee with a tray of full water pitchers.
Have you ever looked in your refrigerator for something that you know is there, but you just can’t find it? You move the pickles, you take out the mayonnaise, you look behind the leftover meat loaf, but you still can’t see what you’re looking for. Finally, you are hit with a blinding flash of the obvious: you need to clean out the refrigerator!
President John Kennedy understood the incredible power of simplicity and focus, and he used it to help drive the United States of America to accomplish a seemingly impossible goal – putting a man on the moon. In the early 1960’s, for reasons involving the need for progress and the pressures of the cold war with Russia, President John Kennedy and his advisors determined that accomplishing the goal of putting a man on the moon should become a priority for our nation.
Whether it’s your vision, your mission, your family values, or your goals for the year, try and make it 20 words or less. Write it so that a child can understand it. Many people have fallen into the trap of thinking that the more complicated something is, the more effective or powerful or useful it must be. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life. Click on the Details button below to hear what these five friends say about how you can finish the year strong.
The value of focus and clarity is as true for a family as it is for a business. A very successful and effective leader for a telecommunications company once told me that he got his belief in the importance of clarity from his father, who had one simple and focused message for his children, which he repeated over and over: “Remember who you are.”
One great leader who was a master of simplicity and focus was George C. Marshall, the Secretary of State for President Harry Truman. Almost everyone, no matter what political party they belonged to, had great respect for Marshall. It was said of him that “he could distinguish what was important from what was unimportant, and this made him valuable.”
Great leaders have the ability to simplify and get everyone focused on a shared goal or vision. Years ago I was working with a company that was struggling. The CEO called a meeting of his top leadership team to discuss how to get the company back on track. The CEO’s speech to the team was a tirade of dissatisfaction, frustration, and anger, which he ended by shouting “Every one of you has to go back and get your people on board! That is the most important thing I expect from you, to get everyone on board!”
Five best-selling authors, Speaker Hall of Fame recipients, internationally-acclaimed business consultants and best buddies give their insights on business and life. Click on the Details button below to hear what these five friends say are their favorite meals.
Today at the Five Friends Business Summit, I talked about Sir Peter Blake leading Team New Zealand to successive victories in the America’s Cup yacht competition in 1995 and 2000. The key to this success was that Blake focused the team on one question which they asked about every thing that they did. The question was simply this: “Will it make the boat go faster?”