Breakthrough Insights

Suffering from Leadership Attention Deficit Disorder? The Harvard Business Review Comes to Your Rescue

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A large part of leadership requires the ability to assess and prioritize the things that matter most, but without strategy to guide your choices and actions, you’ll quickly find yourself stuck in reactive mode. And once you’re in, it’s hard to get out. Getting unstuck takes focus.

Attention is the basis of the most essential of leadership skills—emotional, organizational, and strategic intelligence. And never has it been under greater assault. If leaders are to direct the attention of their employees toward strategy and innovation, they must first learn to focus their own attention in three ways: on themselves, on others and on the wider world.

Download today’s Harvard Business Review article, The Focused Leader: How effective executives direct their own—and their organizations’—attention, and learn how to train your train of thought.

It’s one of five Harvard Business Review articles by organizational leadership experts you’ll find in our HBR Leading Innovation Bundle.

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About the author: Daniel Goleman, a codirector of the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations at Rutgers University, and the author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, explains the importance of attention in cognitive control and offers enlightening tips, including mental exercises that strengthen your attention, how to expand your awareness and learn self-restraint, and where empathy needs to be learned and controlled.