Friday, December 28, 2012

Persistence, Patience and Focus

Since the age of twelve I have had a job.  Over the years I have started many businesses and have worked for many companies; some of which were successful and some complete failures.  As I sat last night contemplating what I wanted to accomplish in 2013 I reminisced about the years passed.  I thought about my successes and failures in business.  As I thought about it three words kept coming to mind - persistent, patience and focus.  These three words kept coming back with resounding clarity as themes in my successes and one or more were always missing in my failures.

Without persistence, patience and focus it's hard to accomplish continued success in any field whether its sports, business, relationships or a chosen profession.  These words seem so obvious yet even the best sometimes miss the mark.  The athlete can be persistent to make the team but lacks focus for the game when he is on the field.  The entrepreneur can be very focused on his new product but lacks the patience to see it through to market.  The worker can be patient on the job but lack the persistence and focus to follow through on the prerequisites necessary for the big promotion.

As an entrepreneur or business leader you must be persistent in order to achieve success.  Being able to endure over the difficult times, refusing to give up just because the road gets rough, can be the difference between winning and losing.  How many times have we seen a football team down two or more scores with only two minutes left on the clock come back to win the game against all odds?  In preparation for the game the coach and team persistently practice their two minute drill in anticipation of winning the game.  Only through the team's persistence to win do they realize success.  The same holds true in business.  The successful business leader refuses to give up when the going gets tough rather he persistently endures through the tough times knowing it will bring success.

The ability for a team to persistently endure the two minute drill when down by two scores or the business leader who faces the difficult business circumstances that come his way requires patience - the ability to endure over time without responding negatively.  Teams and business leaders who can persevere in the face of extreme difficulty or provocation without acting out negatively exhibit the steadfastness to endure the difficult moments that come their way.  Being able to endure difficult circumstances  without responding negatively is an important characteristic trait both on the field and in business.

How many times have you heard someone say "that player needs to focus" or "you lack focus on the job" or "you need to focus"?  On the football field the team that has the distinct clarity of what they need to do wins the game.  It is no different in business.  In order to win you must have narrow attention and concentration on what's required to win.  The job of the business leader, coach or entrepreneur is to set the distinct clarity required to win.  This distinct clarity is focus.  When a team or business is in focus it is easy to see what the goal or target is however, when they are out of focus the players or workers have a difficult time knowing what direction to take.  With focus the coach or business leader draws the narrow attention and concentration needed to guide the team to success.

So as I prepare for a great 2013 I am focusing on what I want my team to achieve.  I will encourage them to be persistent in our pursuit of new business and I will instill upon them a sense of patience to persevere through the difficulties that await us on the horizon.  How simple these three words seem but how important they are to realizing success in everything we do.