management

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yoga louvre

In yoga a Drishti is a focused gaze. You set your vision on something solid and stable in front of you, and, in so doing, are able to maintain your balance much more effectively than if your gaze is not focused; looking from thing to thing.

It’s amazing how effective this is. A pose that is almost impossible to hold while your vision is unfocused becomes do-able when you focus on something stable in front of you.

This is true in business too, of course.

I can’t recall any time in my business career when there wasn’t a swirling miasma of distraction around me; pulling at my focus and intention.

Whatever these things are that distract us they add no value with respect to our ability to keep our focus on the defined objective.

It’s incredibly easy to allow our business gaze to follow whatever shiny distraction enters our peripheral vision — the latest technological “tool” or management “approach” or simply the steady stream of “information.” Knowing when and how to ignore these distractions, and stay centered on the goal is everything.

For me, it’s helpful to think of my Drishti as my “Purpose.” I ask why I bothered to dive into this job/project in the first place. Then I strip away all of the things that are distracting me from moving that purpose forward. What I’m left with is my Drishti, and this is what I try to focus on. Doing so keeps me more balanced.

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If I think a person I work with should meet a specific person, I invariably say, “She’s one of us.”

If, on the other hand, I have to recommend avoidance of a certain person I say, “She is not our people.”

Both I and those to whom I’m giving my opinion know precisely what I mean.

Jan Wenner, upon seeing the iconic photo of the Infinite Jest-era David Foster Wallace (but before reading word one of DFW’s work) reportedly said, “Oh, he’s one of us.” He then dispatched a writer to profile Wallace.

I think we all know who “our people” are.[*]

Remember to build companies with and for these people.

Remember it’s ok to fire your employees and customer if they’re not one of you.

If you mis-judged (or, more likely, didn’t trust your initial instinct) and are working with the wrong person/serving the wrong customer, make a change fast. Doing so not only benefits you, but will allow the person you mis-judged to more quickly find his own people.

Speaking of “our people,” don’t forget to sign up for the 9GiantSteps email newsletter group. It’s a fantastic group of like-minded people to whom I send out SHORT email blasts presenting a digest of links and music of interest to our growing community.

[*]In an abundance of caution, and because I’m feeling sensitive, let me just say that it, of course, has nothing to do with age, gender, race or even political disposition. But, if you know me, you knew that.

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