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Adapted from Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence


A primary task of leadership is to direct attention. Leaders tell us where to focus our energies. But leaders need, too, to manage their own attention. Leaders who do this effectively can soar, those who do not will stumble. The reason is simple. “Your focus,” Yoda reminds us, “is your reality.”

To direct attention well requires a keen grasp of where, when, why, and toward what we need to aim our awareness. Leaders do this in many ways. Simply articulating a new stra...


Cover of What Makes a Leader: Why Emotional Intelligence Matters


With an ongoing barrage of meetings, email, and other demands, it can be difficult to focus on the things that matter most. The discipline to decide where to devote your attention—and to avoid distractions—is a key leadership competency. Every leader needs to practice three types of awareness—inner, other, and outer—and know when to exercise the right one at the right time.