Leading Through the Attention Span


Leading Through the Attention Span

dialogueThe recent COVID-19 outbreak has sent shock waves of fear and uncertainty through our hearts, economies and social media feeds. While the outbreak is grave and tragic, it brings to light how freshness of information and abundance of communication lights the path for attention.

Just a few weeks ago, social media news feeds and news outlets were filled with news on the outbreak, economic uncertainty and people succumbing in the streets of China. No one was really talking about the CDC prediction of the 2019-2020 flu season resulting in 14,000-36,000 deaths in just a four-month time period. Just a handful of days later, the average person’s feed filled with brooms standing on edge, videos of people falling and more impeachment callings. Next week, it will probably be something else as attentions shift yet again.

What can we learn from this? How does this apply to our world in leadership and development? It means we, as leaders, must learn to fight through the attention span crisis and keep our teams focused on our goals. This means keeping our content fresh and relatable. How do we do this?

1. Use repetition and freshness.

You have a why. This is the reason you are out on this path. (By the way, if you are doing it for money, find a new path). The people you lead every day should understand your why. Talk so passionately about it that people not only know it but feel it. This should be in every talk.

2. Don’t let the new thing cloud your thing.

It’s so easy to get distracted by the hot fad. What you wanted to do has now been confronted with newer ideas that will make your mission far less focused. Keep postings of vision boards, sayings and goals to remind you why you are on the path.

3. If it is new, make it relatable.

Everyone wants to talk about the new fad, meme or buzz. Of course, you should talk about it, but make sure you can relate it back to your why. How does this new and exciting shiny object relate to your path? It is a great method of keeping everyone understanding the why we are following.

It is perfectly reasonable to face distraction by the new thing. Our world feeds off those items. It is your responsibility as a leader to address and make relevant these distractions to drive people back your why. This paves the way for buy in and success of your mission. <