Elections and Leadership Lessons -3. Focus

There was so much to be distracted – people questioning his marital status, 2002, why he won’t wear a skull cap, phone tapping references, his mentor turning foe, many of his senior leaders trying to pull the carpet from under his feet, every opposing party using him for target practise, some loose cannons making derogatory communal comments ….. and the man remains focussed on his mission of 272 seats. The dress rehearsal for Mr. Modi’s swearing-in ceremony happened in Goa on June 10, 2013 when he was made the leader of BJP’s poll campaign.

Arjuna in the Mahabharata, hit the bird’s eye because he could only see that and the rest of the things surrounding the bird’s eye were ignored by him. In the same manner, Mr. Modi kept his focus on a single goal of 272 seats. It’s also important to note, that he didn’t go after ten things. And you really cannot do ten things anyway. It’s interesting how he made up a game plan and just focussed on following that game plan. Yes, he adjusted the strategy depending on the external stimuli and changes, but the focus on 272 was unrelenting.

The big learning from the way Mr. Modi lead the elections is to focus on one or two things and not let the distractions get to you. Contrast that with our work – many people work 12 to 14 hours a day and still feel they haven’t managed to accomplish many of the tasks they set out to do. Chances are they give in to distractions, and there are so many of them – cricket, gossip, who is climbing the ladder, who is falling back etc etc. Try and get organized and bring laser like focus to your work … Your work will get done faster and nothing is “not done”. People who teach time management should teach focus, time is wasted because of distractions and not because there is paucity of time.

Focus also creates the goal in your mind, before the physical manifestation and that’s why I said that the June 10th Goa event was a dress rehearsal for what happened on May 26th.

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