The three kinds of focus every leader needs

Consider a hard-driving executive, one who focuses on his quarterly targets and goes through whatever personal heroics are needed to hit his numbers. A valuable asset to any company, right?

Well, it depends. Such executives, increasingly common in the working world, may be too focused on the numbers at the expense of empathy. Empathy – understanding how others think and feel and what your impact is on them – counts among three kinds of focus high-performing managers need today.

The other two are self-awareness and systems awareness. I refer to this triad as Inner, Other, and Outer focus. Executives need strengths in all three, and to use the right one at the right time. When these streams of attention weave together, they become a hidden driver of excellence.

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