The common belief is that the more you focus, the less flexible you become. The usual mental image of focus is the horse wearing blinders, focused on the road ahead of him.
The irony is that the more focused you are, the more flexible you become. However, you must focus on the right thing for this to be true.
If like the horse, you focus solely on your next step you are in trouble. If you focus on a tactic, you will be stuck. If you focus only on a desired outcome, flexibility will be challenging. However, if you focus on brand consistency, you will discover the ultimate level of flexibility.
Why? Because your internal brand defines ‘who’ your company is: what it stands for, what it sells, and who it sells it to. In other words, it provides the outlines of your sandbox.
Before I go forward, let’s take a step back and talk about your brand / sandbox. Your internal brand is made up of your vision, mission, values and company belief systems. Your vision describes the higher purpose or passion behind the business. Your mission defines what you do and who you do it for. Your values describe what is important to your company and ultimately how you do what you do. Your company belief systems describe how you succeed.
Together, the four elements of your brand create business clarity. I think of them as being the four sides of a brand sandbox. More specifically, they make up the borders of your sandbox – the place where your business is designed to excel.
Therefore, when you stay focused on your brand, you are poised for the ultimate in flexibility. When opportunities arise, you can quickly run them through your internal brand definition. If they are inside your sandbox you know that it is a good opportunity for your business to succeed and you can quickly and flexibly take advantage. If it is clearly outside of the sandbox, you know without question that it may be a good opportunity for someone else, but not you.
In other words, by focusing on your sandbox you will become more flexible and more successful. Are you ready to become more focused?