Lessons from the Flight Deck
In today’s fast-paced and hyper-connected world, achieving outstanding results as leaders and executives has become an enormous challenge. The abundance of distractions, both in our professional and personal lives, can easily divert our attention, our focus, from what truly matters.
However, amidst these challenges, there is a powerful change we can make – embracing the concept of focus.
By deliberately and decisively directing our attention towards what truly matters, we can unlock a world of possibilities and drive our organizations towards unprecedented success.
The positive outcome of such focus will be a more productive, purpose-driven, and fulfilled leadership, leading to a ripple effect of positive impact throughout our teams and beyond.
As I flew on and off of aircraft carriers operating in constantly changing, challenging, and often times hostile environments, at the end of the day I had to put my emotions aside and Focus on What Matters in order to get the job done.
This is about being deliberate, being disciplined, and knowing what your end state looks like. So that you can make the best decisions possible to accomplish those goals.
Focus For Success
In the fast-paced and dynamic world of leadership and executive roles, the concept of focus takes on even greater significance.
As a leader, your ability to concentrate on what truly matters can make a monumental difference in the success of your organization and the well-being of your team.
Drawing from my experiences flying off of aircraft carriers and navigating challenging environments, I have learned that focus is the key to achieving world-class execution and making a real impact.
For leaders and executives, focus goes beyond just concentrating on the immediate tasks at hand.
It’s about being deliberate and disciplined in your approach and having a clear understanding of the end state – your ultimate goals. Without a well-defined purpose, decision-making becomes muddled, and progress becomes haphazard.
Therefore, it is essential to identify and prioritize the goals that align with your organization’s mission and vision.
Ways to Keep Your Team Focused and Productive
One of the critical steps in maintaining focus is to eliminate distractions.
Just like a pilot must ignore the noise and focus on the essential instruments to safely land an aircraft on a carrier, leaders must filter out irrelevant information and concentrate on what truly drives progress.
This not only applies to the business world but also extends to your personal life.
Focus on what contributes to your successful end state – be it your career, family, health, or community involvement. By eliminating unnecessary distractions, you can channel your energy toward more meaningful endeavors.
What Does Work-Life Balance Even Mean?
Life balance is a term often thrown around, but it holds significant importance for leaders and executives. Achieving an effective balance between your professional and personal life is vital for long-term success, and mental health.
Neglecting personal well-being can lead to burnout and hamper your decision-making abilities.
Make a conscious effort to prioritize your family, health, and personal interests alongside your work responsibilities.
A leader who takes care of their well-being sets an example for the entire organization, encouraging a healthier and more productive work environment.
How to Regain Work-Life Balance: Set Priorities
Making your plan to focus on what matters requires introspection and goal-setting. Set aside time for regular reflection and strategic thinking. Outline clear, actionable steps towards your goals, and communicate these objectives to your team.
As a leader, your focus serves as a guiding light for your employees, helping them align their efforts with the overarching mission.
At the end of the day, focus is the compass that guides leaders and executives through turbulent airways towards success.
By being deliberate, disciplined, and purposeful, you can make a difference in your organization’s trajectory and the lives of those you lead.
- Eliminate distractions,
- Prioritize your goals,
- Maintain a healthy life balance
Remember, focus not only benefits your immediate objectives but also enables you to contribute to the greater good of society and make a lasting impact.
So, open the door to new possibilities by staying focused on what truly matters.
You’ve got this!
Carey Lohrenz is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller “Fearless Leadership: Lessons From The Flight Deck”. She’s a motivational keynote speaker, CEO, board member, and leadership expert.
Carey has flown missions worldwide as a combat-mission-ready United States Navy F-14 Tomcat pilot. Her extensive experience operating in one of the world’s most challenging environments, an aircraft carrier, and her unique position as one of the first female combat pilots make her the perfect opening or closing inspirational keynote speaker for your corporate meeting or conference.
Carey graduated from the University of Wisconsin where she was a varsity rower, also training at the Pre-Olympic level. After graduation, she attended the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School before starting flight training and her naval career. She is the mother of four kids, and is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration in Strategic Leadership.