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Leadership Focus Magnifies Results: Does a Real Leader Worry?

Leadership focus with magnifying glass

I remember this cartoon of a person visiting a psychiatrist. This particular patient was one who frequently focused on creative scenarios of what could possibly go wrong. The worry was so great that it brought on anxiety attacks, which set up situations in which the person became ill and was unable to properly function with the activities of the day. The patient is laying on the couch and answering the doctor’s questions, and the doctor makes the comment, “You do realize that 99 percent of the things that we worry about never happen.” To which the patient replies, “See how effective worry is?!”

Well, we can justify our thought process any way we like. Neuroscience research has shown that decision making is first emotional, then rational. In fact, the Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, has found that those who have had damage in the part of the brain where emotions are formed have difficulty making decisions.

So that means to me that all the decisions we make are made first emotionally and then justified with facts. I do find that to be incredibly amazing. If that weren’t so true, we probably wouldn’t need so many clothing, food, or automotive purchase options. Let’s not get into all of that.

What do you worry about?

Do you worry about what clothing to wear each day? Worry may not seem like the most appropriate word to describe the situation. Nevertheless, to consider this completely, consider these additional questions:

  1. Why did you choose what you are wearing today? (How much of it is a personal choice, and how much is dictated by activity of the day. We typically choose something to wear that suits our mood first, and then whether it will empower us and our attitude to “tackle the world.”)

  2. How long does it take you to choose what to wear?

  3. How often do you change your mind about what to wear for the day?

If you ever think longer than a moment about what to wear, you “worry” about it. OK, calling it worry might be a little extreme. There a couple of creative geniuses (like Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook, Steve Jobs at Apple) who consistently wore similar clothing every day to eliminate some of the simple choices in order to focus on the bigger picture. I would go into more detail to describe those choices, except that it is not their choices that matter. It is ours.

What decisions do we make daily that can be reduced or even eliminated to bring greater focus to those that matter greater?

Simplify the easy things so there is greater focus on those things that really matter!

Focus on the things that make a difference in your world and make them happen as soon as you can. Start today! (Don’t wait for tomorrow.)

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