I am an advocate for being focussed. Being clear on your priorities, playing to your strengths and making sure you value your most important asset as a leader which is time.
Can you be too focussed? Can it drain you and others being focussed 100 per cent of the time? I probably didn’t think so but a recent article on Rory McIlroy the number one golfer in the world perhaps has adjusted my thinking on this.
In this article, the journalist asked Rory about his spectacular implosion at the U.S. Masters major back in 2011 when he squandered a four shot lead in the final round. It was early in his career and it had a significant impact on him in his reflection on the very public manner in which he felt that he had been humiliated. He responded four weeks later by winning the next major.
When asked how he made the shift in a potential sliding doors moment for his career, he had made the realisation that he was too focussed. “I was thinking about the round overnight, during the morning; nothing else was on my mind. I was thinking about what could go right, but also about what could go wrong. I was too anxious and wound up. That is no state of mind in which to perform”.
He then explained that when he is in the moment now when he plays, he is intense and focussed. When he is not at the point of playing, he switches off. This frees up a lot of energy and makes him more relaxed as a person to be around.
I think this is a great insight for all of us. We don’t need to be thinking about something 100 per cent of the time to be focussed and committed. We need to apply our energy at the point of being with someone, executing or delivering value but not all the time. Our releasing of this additional time will free up valuable energy to allow us to be relaxed and in the moment with others.