Nowadays it is very easy to be distracted. You have mobile devices and the ability to always be connected to the world. Individuals are always multitasking and struggle to stay focus. In a working environment, the same distractions applies. Your team are constantly bombarded with new information and distractions. It is your job as their leader to help your team maintain focus.
Without focus, you lose momentum that’s needed to direct your team to success. Distraction is dangerous when it leads to inefficiencies and low quality. In order to maintain focus and momentum towards success, you must be cautious of the following items.
- Negativity– Whether we like it or not, negativity constantly surrounds us. There are glass half full people always projecting their negativity onto others. Regardless of how well you and your team are performing, negativity with outside your team are constant. Don’t fight it. Accept it and acknowledge it. Understand that your team members are aware of the negativity and it’s difficult for them to deal with it. It is your job to address the negativity and redirect the focus to what’s meaningful. That is the direction and purpose of the team.
- Rumors– One of the biggest contribution to negativity is rumors. In every organization, there exists gossipers who are always excited to spread rumors and gossips. The rumors are mostly baseless or from assumptions that are unfounded. One of the most outrageous rumors that I’ve heard was that the company I was working for was about to close and go out of business. This was based on other rumors that the company didn’t want to renew facility lease on the existing office. Very simple issues such as this can be such a huge distraction to your team and their ability to focus. Be aware of rumors and reassure your team that it’s exactly just what it is, rumors. Nothing more.
- Common Direction – One of the best way to help your team maintain focus is to ensure that you are all heading towards the same direction. You must always make sure that you’ve provided vision of where your team should be heading. There also must be an understanding of where the organization is going. Your team must not only understand the vision and direction, they must also buy into it. If the direction of the organization isn’t in line with the employee’s expectation, their focus will naturally drift onto something else.
- Resetting– Providing vision and direction is a must. Setting goals and objectives are necessary to help maintain your team’s focus. However, this is not a onetime thing. As condition and the landscape of the business environment changes, goals and objectives must be constantly be adjusted and reset. This reset must be done as needed. Goals and objectives are moving targets and that’s ok. Without resetting goals and objectives, distractions becomes the objective of your team.
- Disposing – One of the most difficult thing you must do as a leader is to dispose of the negativity that distracts your team. That can also mean disposing of team members who are a constant distraction. If you have a member in your team who does not buy into the direction of the organization and doesn’t believe in the goals you’ve outlined, this is a problem. If this disbelief manifest further, you must take action. Letting any individual spread negativity is like letting poison spread. If the individual does not want to be a part of what you and the organization is trying to build, no matter how much you try to get that individual to get on board, you must remove that individual from the equation. It’s a difficult thing to consider, but you must do so for the benefit of the rest of your team.
On the road to success you will encounter much adversities. Things will change and you must be flexible and adapt. Not just for you, but also for the team you lead. Understand that we live in a world of distractions and our teams are not immune to them. You must be aware of the distractions surrounding your team. Address them appropriately. Help your team maintain focus in order to achieve the goals and objectives you’ve outlined. Make sure that you set and reset the direction as needed which would make sense for the business and your team. Doing so will maintain the focus your team needs and will lead your team to success.
Photo by: Stefan Cosma
Denny Nguyen, a veteran IT leader and experienced operational manager with 15+ years working in the software and software related service industry. Currently, Denny oversees global operations of LogiGear including IT infrastructure and services, and facility worldwide and marketing and business development for the APAC region.
Started out as a test engineer, Denny has excelled his career into project management, IT management, account management, customer relation management, and marketing and sales management. In 2004, when LogiGear began to establish its present in Vietnam with two Software Testing & Research centers in Saigon and the third center in 2009 in Danang, Denny was instrumental and the key leader who was chartered to build out the entire foundation and infrastructure for LogiGear to grow for the next twenty years.