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Individual Leadership: The Superpower of Focused Attention

We know multitasking is an ineffective use of time. And still, we persist. Many people even believe they are good at it despite overwhelming evidence no one is. The Wall Street Journal recently published yet another article about How to Overcome Multitasking Madness. Some day, we will get the message.


What you need to know is that the superpower that multitasking drastically reduces is your focused attention. It’s arguably the most valuable tool you have as a leader. Dedicating your undivided attention to developing, creating, thinking and innovating, or to fully engaging in a meeting or conversation, makes you infinitely more effective.


Here are some of my tricks that prevent me from multitasking on anything where my attention and effectiveness is critical:

  • I follow a rule that there is no multitasking during any client meeting, call, or Zoom. None. Never.
  • I block time on my calendar (30-45 minute chunks) dedicated to specific tasks or parts of larger projects.
  • I leave white space of 15-30 minutes between most meetings to handle follow up, email and “stuff.”


I’m not perfect with these and you don’t need to be either. But they help a lot. Any step in the right direction makes a meaningful difference.

Organizational Leadership: How Leaders Fight Skimpflation

I first heard about Skimpflation a few months ago, a term coined by NPR’s Planet Money for rising costs coupled with lower quality – a negative whipsaw for consumers.

I see Skimpflation as a leadership issue masquerading as an economic issue. There is little any individual leader can do about the devaluing of currency, inflation, or recession looming on the horizon. But Skimpflation is driven by how leaders respond to market conditions. Where some place the blame on conditions, others recognize the things that can be changed and succeed in the same market.

In my latest article for Forbes, How Leaders Fight Skimpflation, I offer three ways that leaders can fight Skimpflation.

  1. Be careful but not myopic about your costs.
  2. Get strategic about where you can provide more value.
  3. Establish a mindset of high standards with your people.

Don’t take the challenging economic environment as a free pass to not be an effective leader. Accept the reality of the situation and focus on the changes you can implement.

Leadership in the World: Don’t Overplan

In April, Elon Musk bought Twitter in a $44 billion deal. There are countless articles that bring up the impulsive nature of this move, such as this one: “‘I Don’t Really Have a Business Plan’: How Elon Musk Wings It.” But I’m almost certain that Elon Musk didn’t make a split second decision to buy Twitter.

We see companies create extensive business and operating plans with granular detail. And history shows us they are rarely accurate. Too overdone to be useful. What is really needed from leaders is thinking through a simple framework with clear parameters that guide the decisions for the business. From there, their team can dive into the details.

While Elon Musk might not have a fully developed business plan, I don’t think for a minute that he acted on impulse either. It took some time and thought to develop a strategy (even if simple) for where he would like to see Twitter go before he bought the company.

Reflections: Willingness Doesn’t Have to Mean Compliance

A few years ago I started reading about the concept of willingness. At first, I hated it. It felt weak and compliant. But as I read more about it, I realized I misunderstood the meaning of the word.

Willingness is the quality or state of being prepared to do something. It is a recognition of what you can control and what you can’t, and then having the presence of mind to act in ways that best serve you.

You will undoubtedly find yourself in seemingly intolerable situations, such as receiving absurdly poor service, unfair treatment, or many of life’s challenges. But willingness doesn’t equate to passiveness. Instead, it can mean that you are ready for the situations that arise, can accept their reality, and then choose the most effective path forward. This is so much harder than it sounds. And most of the poor behavior we witness at work and life around us is a result of people being unwilling to do just that.

On a related note, if you’d like to read more about acceptance, take a look at my Harvard Business Review article Good Leaders Know You Can’t Fight Reality.

LinkedIn Live: How Leaders Fight Skimpflation

Join me on Tuesday, June 21 at 10am Eastern to discuss how leaders fight skimpflation. This is a change from the original topic, how leaders drive strategy execution – stay tuned for this discussion in July!

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Edinger Consulting