It was 1997. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was answering questions at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. He had just returned to Apple as CEO, after having been ousted from his company for over a decade.
Jobs explained to the attendees how Apple had suffered the effects of a poor management style where people were going in very different directions—each doing interesting things, but the company wasn’t moving forward. “So we had to decide: What are the fundamental directions we’re going in?” said Jobs. “And what makes sense and what doesn’t? When you think about focusing, you think focusing is about saying yes. No. Focusing is about saying no.”
As a leader, have you noticed your opportunities to share the power of the Gospel and God’s love are endless? The world is looking for answers and we have them. Yet, too many opportunities can be very distracting.
Doing less, staying focussed, and letting things go are skill sets a leader must develop for high performance. As leaders, we need to master selecting the one or two most important priorities and focusing intense targeted corporate effort on those few priorities. So, I ask, what is the one strategic thing God is calling you to do this year in your ministry? Yes, I did say the one.
Long hours, hard work, good delegation, even special gifting will not compensate for a team who is striving towards good things, but not focussed on the one or two linchpin priorities that will move the organisation forward. As leaders, we need to have the courage to limit our goals, reduce our workload, and say “no” when new opportunities arise but aren’t in line with your focussed direction.
“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:25 –26, NIV).
Article originally published in Prison Fellowship International’s PFI Roundtable.