Finding the Right Focus

Richard could not seem to get his team to focus on the situation at hand. Or, at least, he could not get them to focus on how to move beyond the difficulty of the situation. We met to discuss Richard’s dilemma over coffee. Well, he had some type of coffee (latte or something) and I had an iced green tea. Though Richard never used the word in our conversation, it did not take long to realize the main ingredient missing from Richard’s team was focus. If there was any focus at all, the team was focused on the circumstances and fallout from the situation.

Many teams and organizations operate under the same guise of focus. Focusing on the symptoms will never bring resolve and healing or reversing of the trends causing the situation. A drop in attendance or loss of customer base is never the cause. Rather, it is always a symptom. Sneezing is not the cause of a cold. It is a symptom. While we tend to focus on symptoms, our focus should be to discover the cause and uproot the undesirable virus that brought about the disruption in our organization.

If the furnace in your house is running continuously, yet the house is not warming up, you will look for open windows and doors. Then you will seek out other air leaks. The continually running furnace is not a cause, but a symptom of something. If you find no air leaks or open windows, you may call a furnace specialist to find and treat the cause. You cannot treat the cause, until you first determine the cause. To do this you must narrow your focus.

The same is true in business, church, and any walk of life. The answer to life’s situations can be found when we bring into focus the elements surrounding the situation. It is easy place our focus on the symptoms instead of the resolve as Richard’s team was doing. Churches, schools, businesses and organizations fail (at least at first) to recognize the importance of focusing on the resolve. Days, weeks, even months are wasted focusing on the symptoms of a situation, rather than on resolve by determining the root cause.

Using events, gimmicks, and other tricks attempting to bring people in will not resolve your issue. These are not resolves but rather, treating a single symptom. Treating symptoms will never resolve the real issue. In next week’s blog we’ll demonstrate how to develop the right focus question for your situation in your church, personal life, business, or other organization.


George Yates is a coach and organizational health strategist, assisting individuals and organizations in fulfilling their God-given purpose.