Focus as Competitive Advantage

I spent my Saturday (15th March’14) in sea world, San Diego & got to feel some of the world’s best ocean experience. Apart from learning lot about ocean life, I came across powerful line “If things are not working, Shift your Focus”

I found extremely relevant during the time when we all suffer from information overload, anxiety and stress, fragmented & scattered mind. As a result, we tend to think why don’t we get the desired result .May we are not focusing on right things, May be our focus is scattered, May be our focus is not inline with our priorities etc..As I write about it , I am also re-reading Steve Jobs’s biography by Walter Isaacson.

In summary , Steve Jobs’s life has been around 2 fundamental philosophies –Focus & Simplicity. He has been an iconic leader in terms of leveraging “FOCUS” as a competitive advantage when most of the other Industry leaders were trying to diversify ,do many things. I will try to summarize some of my learning around “FOCUS” from Steve Job’s as I read his biography…

Quote #“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”- Steve Jobs

  •    It takes LOT of hard work to maintain FOCUS on your highest Priority. It’s a learned behavior.
  •   In one of his earlier speeches In 1983 , He envisioned a “computer in a book” that the owner could learn to use in 20 minutes. A very simple concept on its face; however if his vision in fact was the iPad, then that vision took nearly 30 years to execute. Continuous focus for 30 years resulted in world class ipad ( its an interpretation).If you maintain focus long enough, you will get to your mountain top.
  •  The magic is in what you leave out to do what is most important to you. But this means that you need to be comfortable with saying no, to yourself and to others.
  •   Focusing is about saying no. And the result of that focus is going to be some really great products where the total is much greater than the sum of the parts.
  •   His deep focus on Customer experience is resulted in state of art usability.
  •   He knew how to navigate his focus to most important.His 1st focus was on creating Product , then shifted his focus on Marketing  the product & then shifted focus on customer experience.
  • You cannot focus on “Many Things”.When Jobs returned to Apple in 1977, He brought focus & told his team to focus on 4 great Products .All other products were cancelled.
  •   He knew “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding What to Do”
  •   Using Process to figure out what to focus on.Job used to take “top 100” people to retreat each year.On the last day, he would stand in front of a whiteboard and ask, “What are the 10 things we should be doing next?” People would fight to get their suggestions on the list. Jobs would write them down—and then cross off the ones he decreed dumb. After much jockeying, the group would come up with a list of 10. Then Jobs would slash the bottom seven and announce, “We can only do three.”What an incredible way to bring focus.?
  •   Making Focus as your Priority.Focus was ingrained in Jobs’s personality and had been honed by his Zen training. He relentlessly filtered out what he considered distractions. He refused to shift his laser like focus until he was ready.
  •  Near the end of his life, Jobs was invited by Larry Page, who was about to resume control of Google. “The main advise Jobs gave was to focus on select  few & get rid of rest as the rest is dragging company down. They’re turning you into Microsoft. They’re causing you to turn out products that are adequate but not great.” Page followed the advice.

He truly used “FOCUS” as a competitive advantage.

If we reflect on our life, Poverty of attention is most common challenge.Whenever we try to concentrate on a specific of work, little voice in the head tries to distract us..According to the research, on an average day the average person at work:

  •          Is spending 2.1 hours in distraction
  •          Is interrupted every 11 minutes
  •          Takes 25 minutes to refocus their mind back on the project they were working on before they we distracted

There are million “shiny but trivial” things to do online and our televisions and internet offer 1000 choices that are mind boggling..

Excellent Leaders Focus on The Vital Few-Pick and then have the discipline to say no to everything else.As I read & apply these lessons, I would seriously wish to focus on “TOP 5 “ things in life and discard rest . It has to reflect in my daily schedule.

I see Happiness is a result of Focus. Once you go deep,become focused and attain mastery,you happiness index increases multifold.…

As I was meditating today, a thought came to my mind why we focus on what we don’t want?I think its been ingrained deep into our sub conscious mind and in our behavior Such as we tell our kids “Don’t run, don’t fall, don’t put your hand in the sand, and by all means, don’t embarrass me.”  We want to guard our children from getting hurt and we begin the process of focusing on the outcomes that we don’t want, on those things that we fear.  In our professional Life , we think and say “God –please don’t give me bad boss, horrible project or make me fall sick etc”

 70% of our thoughts unconsciously are focused on what we don’t want. 

Imagine if we change our FOCUS to What we want or shift our focus to what we want.I am excited by the possible outcome of our shift in thinking to “Focus on what we want”.I want to challenge my brain to focus on vital few when it is constantly telling me to do things that are very low-priority.

I will practice this over next 90 days to focus on what I want & will journal the outcome & changes it brought to my life.

Do you believe “FOCUS” can be competitive advantage? Your thoughts are welcome.

With Deep Respect & Gratitude


Committed to making a world a more positive & loving Place..

Quote “Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”


About singhpratyush

Pratyush is highly Energetic,Passionate & Inspiring IT leader who has worked for various leading Organizations such as Citicorp,Siebel,General Electric,Aditya Birla Group.Apart from his interest in technologies (CRM, Predictive Analytics & Connected World) & how technology is changing the world around us, He is constant learning being with focus of improving each & every aspect of his own life and life around him.He is passionate about spreading a message of Inspired and Happy Living.He dreams of making world a better place through a Philosophy of "Inspired & Happy Living" by adding value to every soul that he can reach. Stay Happy & Great.
This entry was posted in Belief, Inspiration, Joyful Living, Leadership, Life, Motivation, Simplify Living. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Focus as Competitive Advantage

  1. sierrajoyy says:

    “happiness is a result of focus”
    This is so true. When we are unfocused we lose track of our goals and steps to reach those goals.

    Please view my post on living fearlessly and let me know what you think 🙂

    • @ sierrajoyy – Thank you so very much for your comment.We need many more positive leader & you are spreading positive message through your great positive thoughts…I loved your article.
      Stay Great

  2. “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
    ― Zig Ziglar

  3. “Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!”
    ― Jeff Dixon

    Stay Great

  4. Reblogged this on Inspired and Happy Living… and commented:

    I read it and found it extremely valuable..

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