We had a 22-year family ritual of going to the circus when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey came to town (and yes, we would buy the hokey photo to mark each year). We have seen some amazing acts in 22 different shows – if it can be balanced, juggled, jumped over, walked on, ridden, or shot out of a cannon, whether by human or animal, we’ve seen it.

But one act in particular always fascinates us: the lion tamer – one courageous person locked in a cage with six or seven beasts that can eat the tamer for lunch if they choose.

The lion tamer typically uses three tools to control his fierce companions prowling around the cage: a whip, a stool, and a handful of tasty snacks. But which of these tools is most valuable to the tamer? You might think it’s the whip, but it’s not. It’s the stool.

When the lion tamer lifts the stool to face his snarling friends, the lions see all four stool legs and don’t know which one to focus on. As a result, the lions stand frozen, enabling the tamer to keep them at bay.

Unfortunately, the same can happen to us when we try to focus on too many things at once – we are unable to take action on any of them. Lack of focus significantly impacts our ability to adhere to our plan.

In our dealings over the past 25 years with leaders at all levels across virtually every industry, focus is always at the top of their list of adherence challenges. Imagine that.

A sharp focus can have a magical impact on your team, but there is no mystery behind it. Winning leaders use four adherence accelerators to sharpen their teams’ focus:

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Identify their one thing.
  3. Know when to say no.

No Hocus Focus! Learn how you can apply these skills to sharpen your team’s focus in Stick with It: Mastering the Art of Adherence. It’s an enhanced and expanded follow-up to our bestselling book.