Leadership is About Focus and Follow Through

Many times I have noticed that those in positions of leadership lose their way due to the complexity and multitude of issues that they are faced with while in leadership. Over the last several months, I have had the privilege to serve on the State Board of Education for Ohio as well as the Columbus 20/20 board, which is about economic development.

This is not a leadership lesson to endorse either political party because neither has cornered the market on great leadership strategies regarding forward movement, but I must add that I am favorably impressed with Governor John Kasich’s leadership ability.

First, I quickly noticed that Governor Kasich's agenda is totally focused. President Reagan was known for focus—a  strong desire to build national unity, a focus on peace through strength, and tenacity with regard to freedom. President Kennedy was known for focus—to promote the civil rights of the downtrodden and build equality for all. Governor Kasich is a focused leader and he is leading a dramatic turnaround of Ohio with a focus on jobs, jobs, jobs.

If you live in Ohio, a focus on the economy was not the highest priority of our past state leaders, but upon the election of this governor, I noticed that committees, task forces, boards, and commissions were all asked for input and perspective with regard to the economy. As the Governor assembled his staff, there was a singular focus on hiring highly qualified personnel to create a positive ecosystem for job creation.

Barriers were removed, dollars were allocated, new systems created to break bureaucratic slowdowns, and focus was uninhibited with regards to jobs. Ohioans can now look at the stats of unemployment, and job creation—this did not happen by accident—and see the results. Leadership is about focus, and follow through on that focus. Ohio leaders are unwavering on both.

This one example has again, pointed to the need for all leaders to focus. If a church or business wants growth, then it must focus on creating growth opportunities and removing barriers to growth. The organization must also support that growth through budgets and training. In another example, if the focus of an organization is on marketing and attracting the senior populations, then again the focus will need to ensure that opportunities are created.

Once focus has been decided, the difference between success and failure is follow through. Who will ensure that the focus is accomplished? Pastor, Business Leader, School leader, and Political leader, I challenge you to ask what is your focus? I also would ask you to examine often this question: Did we accomplish anything in our focus area? If the answer is no, then follow through is needed.

If you desire to have a session on this for your organization, contact Dr. Mark A. Smith at mark.smith@ohiochristian.edu.