It is far easier for executives to make small bets on a variety of opportunities than it is to focus on the limited few---but the path to enduring success is paved with laser like focus.
When he returned to Apple after years on the outside, Steve Jobs drew a simple 4 box grid of his market (desktop and mobile, professional and personal) and told his team he wanted only 1 great product in each of the boxes.
Commenting on the public response to his wonderful biography of Jobs, Walter Issacson shared that he thought most readers of his book were attributing too much of Jobs’s success to his unique personality and too little to his ability to focus. He wrote:
“Focus was ingrained in Jobs’s personality. He relentlessly filtered out what he considered distractions. Colleagues and family members would at times be exasperated as they tried to get him to deal with issues they considered important. But he would give a cold stare and refuse to shift his laser like focus until he was ready.”
For a product company that had lost its way, Jobs provided a concise picture of where the company was headed and what would lead to long-term success. For Jobs, his success equation was Focus + Personal Style + Design Genius and he inspired Apple to become what it is today.
Ask yourself---do my peers and colleagues describe me as focused? If not, consider adding focus to your personal success equation. It will serve as a catalyst for success.