by Dale Hudson
Have you ever noticed what goes on when a player is shooting a free throw in a major game? Hundreds of people behind the goal are waving their arms, dozens of camera lights are flashing, and thousands of people are yelling and screaming; lots of potential distractions for the shooter.
But great shooters know how to block out the distractions. They know how to focus on the basketball goal no matter what is going on all around them.
As a leader, it is important to know how to block out distractions and focus on your goal. Great leaders know what their goal is and stay focused on it no matter what is going on around them.
Do not get distracted by personalities
Great shooters are surrounded by all kinds of personalities: dominating personalities, opposing personalities, discouraging personalities, powerful personalities, personalities with a different agenda and even hostile personalities.
But great shooters do not get distracted away from the goal by personalities.
As a leader, you will always be surrounded by personalities vying for your focus. If your leadership becomes personality driven, you will get sidetracked. Do not get distracted. Keep your focus on your goal.
Do not get distracted by problems
Great shooters are often surrounded by problems while focusing on the goal: a pulled muscle, a shooting slump, aching joints, weariness. But great shooters rise above the problems. Their intense focus on the goal gives them the ability to succeed in spite of the problems.
As a leader, you will encounter problems. Yes, you have to deal with them. But do not let dealing with them distract you from your goal. Stay focused in spite of your problems.
Do not get distracted by pride.
The cameras are on. Reporters scramble to get an interview. Fans line up for an autograph. When this happens, a shooter’s focus can be diverted. Interview time can become more important than the extra practice time that it took to bring success. The focus can shift from the goal to maintaining celebrity status.
As a leader, success can lead to pride. Do not believe your press reports. Stay teachable. Remember it is not about how much fame or camera time you can get, it is about reaching the goal God has placed before you.
Do not get distracted by proposals.
Can you endorse this? Can you wear this? Can you sponsor this? Can you attend this charity event? Can you donate to this? Can we put your name on this? A great shooter is constantly approached with proposals.
As a leader, there will never be a lack of proposals. Can you start this ministry? Have you thought about doing this event? You really should provide this program during the summer? Can we use the building for this event? Would you mind sponsoring this community project? Why have you decided not to provide this outreach? The church down the street does.
Just because someone proposes something, does not mean you should do it. Just because there is a “need” for something, does not mean you should be the one who meets it. Do not get distracted away from your goal by proposals. Focus in on a few, God-given goals and do them well. Let everything you do be a simple, intentional step toward your goal. Learn to say “no” to proposals so you can say “yes” to a laser focus on your God-given goal.
Do not get distracted by pressure.
There is pressure when a shooter is focusing on the goal: fans’ expectations, shooting percentages to maintain, not wanting to let teammates down, the stares and attention of everyone in the building and sometimes the entire outcome of the game or even the entire season rests on one person’s shoulders. But great shooters know how to stay focused on the goal, even under pressure. They know how to take a deep breath, relax and welcome the intensity of the moment. The potential that lies before them rises above the pressure that comes with it.
If you are a leader, you will face pressure. Being a leader paints a target on your chest for pressure. The question is not “if” you will deal with pressure, but “how” you will deal with pressure. Learn how to deal with pressure without letting it overwhelm you to the point where you cannot stay focused on the goal.
You are always at the free throw line as a leader. And there will always be distractions vying for your attention. Stay focused on the goal God has given you. It is your shot! Bury It!
Dale Hudson has been in Children’s Ministry for over twenty-two years. He is the Director of Children’s Ministry at Christ Fellowship Church in South Florida. Christ Fellowship is a multi-campus church with five campuses. Dale was recently named one of the top twenty influencers in Children’s Ministry by Children’s Ministry Magazine. He speaks at conferences across the country encouraging and equipping other Children’s Ministry leaders. He is the Leading Volunteers columnist for Children’s Ministry Magazine and has co-authored three books. Dale and his wife, Pamela, have been married for over twenty-two years and have two sons, Josh who is twenty, and Caleb who is seventeen. You can read more about Dale’s ministry journey at www.relevantchildrensministry.blogspot.comor meet up with him on facebook or twitter:@dalehudsoncm.