The Procrastinators, The Disengaged, The Distractors, and The Purposeful


image“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”  — Mark Twain

Building momentum takes a mix of the right kind of energy and focus on a team.

If you can balance focus and energy, you get better results.  For example, if you have low energy things won’t get done.  If you have high energy, but low focus, results may be all over the board.

Focus and Energy Personas

I don’t remember who drew this model on my whiteboard, but I liked it.  It’s basically personas for focus and energy.   I’ll summarize the four personas for focus and energy like this:

  1. Procrastinators – Low energy and low focus
  2. Disengaged – Low energy  and high focus
  3. Distracters – High energy and low focus.
  4. Purposeful – High energy and high focus

What you want is to guide more people back to high-energy and high-focus.

As Voltaire would say, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

I like new lenses — They make an old song new.  In this case, the Focus and Energy Personas remind us of the power of focus and how important it is to generate high-energy.

I think “Beware the Busy Manager” (Harvard Business Review) is an interesting article on how these focus and energy personas show up at work.

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  1. Ha, good stuff!
    I think I used to fall in trap with Distracters….
    I like highly energetic people, but sometimes i was confused why they many times so unproductive….
    Now i know – lack of focus!
    Very good and practical stuff – loved it

  2. I have fallen into all these categories. It just depends on the kind of work and people I’m working with that dictate which lens.

    I’m working on harnessing my purposeful lens as often as I can. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort, but that’s how it goes.

  3. This was a very good post, I liked it’s short, sweet, pithiness and then the link to the big guns.

    I am working at writing like this for my partner’s blog to encourage conversation and discussion. I am not there yet!

    I am a Intensely purposeful person/manager….writer…and parent. I just draw the distracters like flies to honey. I like writing the blog because I can get my purpose down in words and they enjoy the distracters as they help me move along to the next idea.

    Thank you

  4. @ Alik

    Thank you.

    Lack of focus is a funny thing. It can start off fun, but then at some point, people end up frustrated when they aren’t getting anywhere. I think it’s a similar relationship, like motivation and self-discipline. Motivation might get you going, but self-discipline sees you through.

    @ Karl

    It’s good to go with the flow.

    It’s also good to know your preference. Today, I had another reminder that as much as I like to dabble in things, I also need to be focused on some significant outcome.

    @ Patricia

    Thank you. Pithiness is a great word!

    It sounds like you found the perfect way to leverage distracters.

    @ Tom

    It’s funny how a little lens sheds so much light. The 90/10 rule is a good way to punctuate the point. All those choices and decisions each day really add up.

  5. Hi J.D.

    This is very insightful. I understand it, I just never heard it put this way. I enjoyed reading it. 🙂
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  6. I really like these descriptions. As I was reading them I was imagining people who fit those labels in my life–as well as times when I fit all of them. 🙂

  7. @ Giovanna

    I think I found the source of the model my colleague showed me. It looks like it’s the model from the boo, “A Bias for Action,” By Heike Bruch, Sumantra Ghoshal. I haven’t read it yet, but I like the idea.

    @ Jannie

    Your focus and energy serve you well!

    @ Christine

    That’s what I like about the model. It gives me a lens for others and myself.

  8. Hi J.D. – I know I’ve fallen into all of these categories over the years, but I strive to be purposeful. Staying focused is key.

  9. @ Maya

    Thank you. I’m such a fan of lenses and new ways of looking at things.

    @ Barbara

    You’re right, focus is key. It seems like if you get the right focus that inspires you, energy takes care of itself. They feed each other.

Comments are closed.