Focus as a verb or noun – The 200 words project

Here’s this week’s 200 word idea thanks to Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffett, their host at dinner, Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to identify what they believed was the single most important factor in their success through life. Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: Focus.

In his book, Greg McKeown dives into the nuance and depth behind the word. He explains that there are two kinds of focus –
Focus as a Noun. When people speak of focus they usually refer to the noun – having a single goal. So, focus is thought of as a static thing that you have.
Focus as a Verb. However, focus is also something you do. This type of focus is an intense, dynamic, ongoing, iterative process that explores what is going on and what the (noun) focus should be.

Professor Henry Mintzberg taught that there are two sources of strategy: deliberate strategy – where leaders develop a clear vision and map this to goals (noun focus), and emergent strategy – where people respond to unanticipated problems and opportunities (verb focus). It is the disciplined pursuit of both of these approaches that best enables us to focus on what is essential.

FocusSource and thanks to: Greg McKeown on LinkedIn