It so often happens to the best of us. The fog of business confuses us, makes decision making difficult and slows us to a crawl. Even the President of the United States is not exempt. In their recent Washington Post article, Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake write:
On the verge of his 2012 reelection race, however, Obama’s continued lack of clear definition is hurting his political prospects, according to longtime Democratic pollster Peter Hart.
They continue to quote Hart:
Hart notes that the core of most recent presidents could be summed in a few words; “strength and optimism” for Ronald Reagan, “compassion and determination” for Bill Clinton and “conviction” for George W. Bush.
“The challenge here is not whether a specific element is wrong with Barack Obama’s image, but that he does not have one single image,” writes Hart. “He is everyone and no one.”
The Solution? A single word focus.
One of my heroes, Bobb Biehl, often encouraged us to have a one word focus, for life and for each year. I would add you can have a one word focus for month or even a day. This word provides incredible clarity and cuts through the fog. For example, if you have a group of uncompleted tasks and projects, your word might be “complete.” In that case you would push aside everything new and emerging and set a laser light focus on finishing as many half-completed tasks as possible. You one focus will probably be tied to your one word what-you-do-best word. One of the words I most often hear used of me is “simplifier.” I seem to have been blessed with the innate ability to take a complex set of ideas or concepts and boil them down to a simple deliverable and communicable process. This plays out well for my roles in business development and marketing just as it did in preaching. I keep my do-best word in mind as I do my yearly, monthly or daily focus word. Things go best when they are aligned.
If Obama could sum up the goal of his next term in one simple word, it could aide him greatly in the campaign. One Republican candidate has a very clear single word focus–Ron Paul. Limit. As a Libertarian-oriented Republican, he wants to severely limit the federal powers back to what he feels are their constitutional boundaries. Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 resonates in similar ways.
So what would is your single word (or short phrase) focus for life, the year, month or day?