Strategic Thinking: Sneeze the Opportunity

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you focus your performance and increase your productivity.

           Ah, ah, ah, ah choo!!!! Gazunheit! No wonder people usually respond when you sneeze. Hard to ignore air exploding out of your mouth at nearly 500 miles per hour!

           Next time you sneeze consider how much you focus on that one instant behavior.  Ever try to do ANYTHING else when you have to sneeze? It’s all consuming.  Inevitable in all ways. And always attention commanding. Nothing else matters when you sneeze, nothing except getting that sneeze out of you. Now. That all-consuming focus is a key leadership skill, a key decision-making skill especially when the strategic planning and thinking are complete and now execution is the key.

          Seize the sneeze as your Model of Disciplined Decision-Making. Focus your thinking much like the air in your hollow windpipe collapses into a rubber-hose and  squeezes  your breathing to spurt  out at  33 times faster than your normal breathing rate of 15 miles per hour.

       With a stronger, faster, more narrowed focus comes a welcomed pressure than enhances performance.

       Consider the life-saving focused behavior of a pilot in distress. With focus, comes an immediate response to a dangerous situation that avoids panic like this: A pilot lost power at 46,000 feet. The plane dove 35,000 feet or 7 miles before the engine sputtered back to life. The plane didn’t level off until it was 1,000 feet from crashing into the ground. The pilot said he didn’t panic. He was too focused, too “busy trying to get things to work.” Sneeze the opportunity.

More Mountain Climbers Are Killed Climbing Down

      Consider the deaths of mountain climbers. More are killed climbing DOWN the mountain than up the mountain. Their focus fades coming down and so does their performance. Sneeze the opportunity

      Consider the thin atmosphere at high elevation. It has the same percentage of oxygen as it does at ground level. But you get light-headed at high elevations because of the reduced air pressure (read less focus). With less focus (less air pressure) the oxygen in the atmosphere can’t reach you as efficiently as it does at sea level. It’s all a matter of focusing your resources. Sneeze the opportunity.

     No wonder the French statesman Talleyrand noted that he was more afraid of an army of 100 sheep led by a well-focused lion than an army of 100 lions led by an unfocused sheep.

     For me the lesson is clear: Stay focused. Seize the sneeze as your  Model of Disciplined Decision-Making.  And you will blow away the competition. Gazunheit!

 Today’s ImproveMINT
Focus your attention to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Focused Thinking:

Narrowing Your Attention Span
Beware of the Day-Dream Invasion
Beware of Jumping to Conclusions

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