In this video, I talk about the importance of focus for leaders by asking you the question: Are you all afterburner and no runner when it comes to leadership?
In the Air Force we had a term for a person who really was high energy but yet would ping off the walls and had no focus: all afterburner and no rudder. This phrase means you have plenty of energy, but that energy is not focused on anything in particular.
Early on in my Air Force career, people called me “Yippity Skippity.” That was my first unofficial call sign because I was all afterburner and no rudder. I was a high-energy guy always looking to get things done now, fast, without much consideration for much else.
I didn’t take the time to consider if the energy I was expanding was being expended in the right direction and with the right focus.
What we’re really talking about is that the best leaders focus their power in a way that delivers results for the organization.
Later on in my career I got another call sign, “Speedo,” (that’s a whole other story of how I got that call sign!), so I went from being “Yippity Skippity” to “Speedo” which I considered a compliment, believe it or not.
As I became more seasoned as a leader, I was able to take that energy and enthusiasm and channel it in a way that was productive for the organization.
As a result, I enhanced my ability to lead.
So the question for you is: Are you all afterburner and no rudder or do you have the focus and wherewithal to channel your energy and enthusiasm to achieve your vision and create the results you need for your organization?