Exploring the Strength of Focus

This picture illustrates how my brain works – always focused on the horizon. I ask, “Where am I headed?” and “How can I get there?”  Do you get so zoned in on something the rest of the world does not exist?  Is it hard when someone interrupts something you are doing?  Do you find it easy to prioritize and then act?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have the Gallup StrengthsFinder strength of “Focus.”  According to Gallup, focus is…

“Guided by this theme of Focus, you need a clear destination. Lacking one, your life and your work can quickly become frustrating. And so each year, each month, and even each week you set goals. These goals then serve as your compass, helping you determine priorities and make the necessary corrections to get back on course. Your Focus is powerful because it forces you to filter; you instinctively evaluate whether or not a particular action will help you move toward your goal. Those that don’t are ignored. In the end, then, your Focus forces you to be efficient. Naturally, the flip side of this is that it causes you to become impatient with delays, obstacles, and even tangents, no matter how intriguing they appear to be. This makes you an extremely valuable team member. When others start to wander down other avenues, you bring them back to the main road. Your Focus reminds everyone that if something is not helping you move toward your destination, then it is not important. And if it is not important, then it is not worth your time. You keep everyone on point.”

Focus in Real Life

This is how I see my strength of focus play out in real time. These things are so connected to who I am, it’s hard to imagine not doing them. They are hardwired into my being.

  1. I constantly prioritize and re-prioritize the tasks of my day.
  2. I have an innate ability to see what should be dealt with immediately and what can wait  (I also can help other people with this when they need help).
  3. I am deadline driven, I will get it done before a deadline, pressure motivates me.

Challenges of Focus

There are challenges with focus as well. If I’m not careful, it can become unhelpful. These are the things I need to watch for.

  1. It can be hard to switch tasks once I get going on something, it is hard for me not to ‘finish.’
  2. Sometimes when I am zoned in, I miss things that are going on around me.
  3. People will start conversations with me and I miss things because I am not focused on them.

My team, friends and family know to ask me, “Are you focused right now?” as a way of helping me not miss things.  This is strengths management 101. It’s critical you have those things in place.

My life has been forever changed in a good way knowing more about how I am wired.  The more you do to find out who you are and what makes you tick, the better chance you will have at success.

Do you know what you need to have the greatest success?