It’s that time again. A time when people around the world marvel at the talent, skill, and power on display at the Olympic games.  An extreme exercise in focus that we get to witness every few years.

I always chuckle when judges score competitors with a low mark when the athlete appears to have pulled off some unbelievable maneuver. I, of course, come from the lay point of view that “Hell, I couldn’t do that on my best day,” and therefore, I think they all deserve a solid 10.

What we’re witnessing is the outcome of not just extraordinary talent and determination but it’s also a direct consequence of the ability to focus.

I sat at dinner the other night with the father of an Olympian, and I asked him about the lengths to which the guardians (coaches, trainers, doctors, etc.) limit distractions and “noise” surrounding the athlete. His answer boiled down to ‘as much as they possibly can.’ The objective is clear; to become the ultimate competitor.

Organizations can ensure successful outcomes for their employees by reducing noise on the job. It’s not a matter of creating a distraction-free environment but rather creating an ecosystem where the worker can focus on the task at hand consistently.
How can organizations act like guardians to ensure more “focus”? Let’s take a look at a few examples.


Review the meeting schedule and ask your staff if there are ways to use the time more productively. Eliminate any “meetings about meetings.”

Streamlining processes:

Engage your team with focus groups and productivity interviews. Ask about ways they might consider simplifying the steps to reach the same (or better) outcome.

Clarifying the gates of responsibility and job descriptions:

Make sure that each team member understands what a work product should look like before it hits their desk and before handoff to the next person. Establish that individuals are doing the work memorialized in their job description, so there is no question about “who does what” in the chain of command.

Encouraging workers to block their calendar:

Working at full speed is great for short-term goals and projects, but doing so regularly, creates disorganization and a sense of stagnation. When given additional time to think, strategize, and relax, work quality increases, and the mind can process the beginning, middle, and completion stages. Doing so supports cognitive resetting as well as psychological resiliency.

When organizations value focus time, their teams think more deeply, pay more attention, and refine their skills. Like training one activity repeatedly, the job becomes an extension of the person, and the limitations of what is possible expand increasingly outward.

People who understand how to be successful can out-perform those who don’t. Those who are encouraged to reach a goal within their wheelhouse hone their expertise and become top-tier performers.

Want your team to reach the podium consistently? Enable them to focus and master their craft.


Contact us today at 202.415.6987 or if you want to enhance collaboration and engagement. Together, we can create an environment that drives success through effective communication.

Follow Lizabeth on LinkedIn and subscribe to her newsletter, or subscribe to the L-12 Services Corp. YouTube channel for videos, tips and more!

About Lizabeth Wesely-Casella

Lizabeth Wesely-Casella is a skilled strategic advisor specializing in attrition mitigation, workflow management, process improvement, and culture.With over 20 years of experience as an administrator and policy and programming consultant, her work has contributed to successful project outcomes in federal health policy, international program development, for-profit, and non-profit/association management.

Leave a Comment