The world is littered with companies that had great visions but failed to execute on them. Back in the 1970's Kodak's vision was a world in which cameras could be carried in a shirt pocket. Motorola envisioned a day when the world would be connected without wires. Nortel's vision was that everyone and every device could access voice, data, and images.
They all had a great vision, happy customers, great brand names, and strong balance sheets. These visions weren't wrong; they just didn't matter because they weren't executed before time ran out. They weren't focused enough to build the growth capabilities the companies needed in time to capture their opportunity.
As an endurance athlete and a CEO I know that vision gets you to the race, but it's focus that gets you across the finish line. Working with some of the world's most successful business leaders responsible for driving growth I see how it's focus that enables them to make the trade-offs so they can decide what to do and what to not do.
Focus lets them align people and resources to support their priorities and make their vision a reality. Airbnb's focus drove it to hit pause and design their growth so that aligned with their unique culture. Pizza Hut's focus on its customers enabled it to take on and gain lost ground from Papa John's.
Here are 5 ways to focus in on your vision
Have crystal clear priorities
Be able to count on one hand the most critical things you must deliver this year.
Line up your team
If I were to ask you and your boss/direct report about your top three priorities, you'd both give the same answer. Better still, you agree on them!
Make deliberate, considered decisions every month to stop or not start doing things that are under-resourced or don't fit with your company strategy.
Review and reflect
Review and refocus your priorities at the beginning of every month.
Master your time
Regularly block time on your calendar to create space to work on your top priorities.
Don't let your vision get lost in history, use focus and discipline to execute it before your time runs out.