Exploring The StrengthsFinder Theme of Focus

The StrengthsFinder theme of focus helps people get work done, but looks very different from person to person.

Have you ever asked someone to describe his life and he drills down to describe every decade? Have you ever asked a subject matter expert to address a crowd about a specific topic and despite of the hot room, the antsy audience, the sputtering fan, and the people coming in and out of the doors to try and fix the air conditioning, she delivers the message as clear and precise as if the conditions were quiet and comfortable with no distractions? Have you ever known those people who speak, write, or work “on a line”?

These people may have the StrengthsFinder theme of Focus.

Definition of Focus

People with the strength of Focus have a very clear and defined destination to their thinking, a specific and guiding force that gives their life direction, meaning and purpose. People with Focus set goals constantly to determine priorities and stay on course. Without a clear destination or purpose, life may lack meaning and they may lose motivation and energy to get things done.

Because people with Focus can set direction and move with clarity in that direction, they can be impatient with delays, obstacles or tangents that have the potential to divert their ability to stay the course.

People with the strength of Focus have a clear direction, follow through, ability to prioritize, take action, and stay on track. Once they have set themselves into action, they are like a train in motion… no sharp turns. Once going, it is very difficult to stop and that stopping can take a long time. Before they start, people with Focus may ask,

“Where are we going?”

Pay attention when they ask questions like this, because without a sense of direction, action will not happen.

How Focus is Generative

The strength of Focus is generative because these people have a unique ability to work at a high level of efficiency over long periods of time with extended concentration. This ability can bring life to others because people with Focus can get so much accomplished. This frees others to do other things.

When a person with Focus in on track, she can help others prioritize what needs to be done because she doesn’t have time to do frivolous and unnecessary things. The beauty of Focus comes in the ability to push aside all distractions and concentrate on one or a few things at a great depth of detail. But make sure you communicate how much detail you really need.

Examples of the StrengthsFinder Theme of Focus

There is a leader we know who successfully led an organization for 40 years with the strength of focus, he was able to keep moving through stuck places without distraction. He embodied the mission and vision—and kept inviting others to join him.

Another friend we have with the strength of focus is so adept at eliminating distractions that even in a cubicle without earbuds or noise canceling headphones, you’d have to say his name several times and then actual interrupt his focus with stepping into his line of sight. He worked hard, fast, and stayed on a line.

Your Focus

If you have the StrengthsFinder theme of focus, or know someone who does, what does it look like?