Merge's Blog

Tag Archives: focus

Your leadership focus should be at two different levels

The best way I can think of to explain how there are two different levels of leadership focus is to use the metaphor of tornadoes versus termites.

Two levels of leadership focusA tornado can level a house.  You know what else can?  Termites.  Over time, termites, left unchecked, can bring a 2,500 square foot house down to a pile of brittle lumber.  A tornado gets attention because it can destroy a house in a matter of mere minutes.  But termites, eating away at the skeleton of a home over a period of six months to two years, tend not to get the same degree of attention, simply because their damage happens slowly.  But let’s be very clear on one thing – whether it’s a tornado or termites, the eventual result is exactly the same – a house that is completely destroyed.

Tornadoes get attention

As a leader, catastrophes in your workplace get your attention.  Whether it’s a virus that shuts down your computer network, a rail accident that impacts deliveries of your product, a flawed recommendation your firm made to an important client, or a significant accounting error that is discovered only after the financial cycle has closed, such situations bring your crisis management skills to the forefront.  Continue reading

The power of focus when dealing with conflict

Early one morning, I was walking through an empty parking lot when I observed a seagull gracefully swoop down towards a small paper bag lying upon the asphalt.  No doubt, the seagull hoped to find some morsel of food within the bag.  It must have been right, because moments later, a magpie plunged down and tried to snatch the bag away from the seagull.  A crow arrived in the next instant and attempted to get its share of the prize.  Within minutes, the three birds were battling one another in the quest for whatever unknown gift lay within the paper bag.  So caught up were they in their conflict that they failed to notice the squirrel.  The little bushy brown-tailed creature watched them from about 10 feet away.  As the three birds skirmished with one another, he began to cautiously make his way forward.  With a quick burst of energy, he dashed forward, grabbed the bag, and made off towards the trees that skirted the edge of the parking lot.  At the last moment, the seagull noticed the squirrel and tried to switch its attention towards rescuing the treasure.  But the magpie and the crow weren’t having any of it; they continued to wage war with the seagull and with each other.  By the time they all realized that the subject of their fracas was no longer, the squirrel was long gone, probably dusting off crumbs and chuckling at his good fortune. Continue reading