What You Focus on Manifests Itself
I learned this from my sister, Ann Licata, who co-founded and ran a highly successful medical distribution company with her husband, Vance until they retired to Paradise on a mountaintop overlooking the ocean in Panama.
Ann learned this lesson early in her career when she worked as a nurse in the Psychology Ward of a major childrenâ€™s hospital. Â Â Her experience there confirmed her training that oneâ€™s attention is heightened by that which is on our mind. And that most of us can choose what we focus on.
Itâ€™s like when weâ€™re thinking about buying a red car.Â Suddenly, red cars are coming around every corner.
Or when someone says â€śWhatever you do, donâ€™t stare at his nose.â€ťÂ Well, you know what happens nextâ€¦
And how about when youâ€™re asked â€śHave you ever noticed how much Pat does X?â€ťÂ â€śHmm,â€ť you reply, â€śNow that you mention itâ€¦â€ť
What you focus on manifests itself.
As leaders, the trick is to manifest what we want by choosing what we focus on.Â I once heard Ram Charan say that â€śwe run our organizations by the questions we ask.â€ťÂ Same idea.
So here are a few simple ideas:
- Make sure the things that can garner the biggest result get the most airtime.Â Make this your mantra for meetings.
- Shine a bigger light on what you want more of.Â Catch people doing it right.
- Accentuate the positive. Remember that many weaknesses are an expression of overused strengths.
- Generate success by breeding confidence.Â Rather than pointing out whatâ€™s lacking or whatâ€™s wrong, steer people to how it could be even better â€“ and why you know they can do it.
And when it comes to your own self talk, remember the wisdom of Henry Ford who said â€śwhether you think you can or think you canâ€™tâ€”youâ€™re right.â€ť
Iâ€™ll now come back to how Ann put her counsel into practice: How did she and Vance retire to Paradise in their mid-forties? By thinking they could!