I think two of the greatest challenges we face today are FOCUS and COMMITMENT. Last week I was able to work on both of them when I met with my Mastermind Group. A lot of people ask me … "what is a mastermind group?". I best describe it as all members serving as each other’s Board of Directors. It is a nice blend of creative brainstorming, tough honest conversations … and genuine encouragement. But the bottom-line is that it is about stepping back to focus on what you need to be committed.
It is easy to become victim of the "flavor-of-the-month" … or, in today’s fast world, the "flavor-of-the-minute." There is a difference to strategically staying attuned to necessary adjustments in your journey vs. winging it every step of the way. I like to think in terms that great planning leads to more insightful flexibility. I know it is my instinctive nature to go off on tangents … and some of those tangents can be incredibly valuable. And in a paradoxical way, focus and commitment gives me greater freedom to go off on these tangents … because I depart with the confidence of knowing the main foundation to which I can easily return.
And that is why I love my Mastermind Group. I think each of us left with better focus and a commitment to our plan … knowing that at our next meeting we would be held accountable to what we said we were going to do.
But you know what happens after most planning retreats … you return to the speed of life. Focus and commitment are not about a meeting or event. They are a way of life. In the midst of my daily speed, I remember the advice my long-time business coach, Mark LeBlanc, gave me when we began to work together. Mark said, "every single day you need to establish your three HVAs." Those are your High Value Activities … the three things that will move you three steps closer towards what you are focused on and committed to. At the end of the day you should revisit each HVA and ask yourself if you completed each one of them. If you didn’t, that’s OK. Don’t give up … just establish three the next day. Eventually you will be surprised how your HVAs start to get done on a regular basis. And if they are continually tied to your focus and commitment, you are likely to see your plan of the future become a reality of today.
They always say the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time (I always hated the thought of eating an elephant … but I got the point!). And the best way to stay focused and committed is establishing three HVAs a day. And, of course, having a mastermind group that will hold you accountable!