6 Distractions Leaders Need To Resist

by  John Bossong  |  Leadership Development

Do you get distracted? Everyone does. You do. I do. Distractions are everywhere. Social media has made distractions the norm.



Work. Distraction. Work. Distraction. Work. Distraction. Distraction. Distraction. Work. Now go home and help yourself to some more distractions.

Distractions are dangerous. Distractions are costly.

Leaders are faced with multiple distractions everyday. Distracted from the vision. What’s important and what matters. People matter.

You are in the people business. When your people succeed you succeed. They are not a distraction but an opportunity. An investment.

Distractions Leaders Need To Resist

#1 – Social Media. The tweet can wait, crucial conversations can’t.

#2 – Email. It’s not going to disappear. It will be there all day and all night. Schedule time but don’t be consumed with it.

#3  – Doing what is easy instead of what is right. Character counts. Right counts. Integrity counts. Leading change matters.

#4 – Delaying the inevitable. Handle the tough situations early in the morning. Get them out of the way. Don’t let them be a distraction all day. Don’t procrastinate.

#5 – It’s not all about you. Don’t let pride distract you. Your people make you a success, not the other way around. Pride is the core of leadership failures.

#6 – Trying to please everyone. You can’t and won’t please everyone. When you try to please everyone, it becomes one big distraction.

There is always something more to do. Another task to complete. Another distraction is just a distraction away.

Distractions Leaders Need To Embrace

If you want to get distracted get distracted in a good way.

#1 – Immerse yourself.  In the purpose and values of the organization. Live them. Model them. Get distracted.

#2 – Connect. Really connect. Spend time with your people. Get to know them. Build relationships with them. Know more than their Twitter profile. Do they have children? Are they married? What are their hobbies? Don’t send an email when you can walk in their office across the hall. Connect face to face. One-on-one. It’s old school but effective.

#3 – Communicate. Communicate the vision and expectations. A lot. When your people are sick of you talking about it, they are just starting to get it. Make sure every one knows their roles and expectations. Each person has a role.  They need to know exactly what they do, why and what the expectations are. Get distracted in communication.

What distractions are hindering you? What distractions do you need to embrace? Resist and embrace. You decide.

Lead change!

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What People Are Saying

Mike Henry  |  29 Mar 2013  |  Reply

Great post and reminders John. I have a hard time remembering that anything but the most important thing is a distraction.

John Bossong  |  29 Mar 2013  |  Reply

Thanks Mike. I’m right there with you. Take care and keep up the great work at the Lead Change Group.


Johann Gauthier  |  29 Mar 2013  |  Reply

Great post John.

I particularly liked your suggestion of getting the big problems done in the morning and not procrastinating about them all day ! It’s true. I find this creates noise within, and detracts us from the bigger goals. Not to mention the disconnections it fosters with others and ourselves.

Thanks for the opportunity to engage with you and others in this great group.


John Bossong  |  30 Mar 2013  |  Reply


Thanks for reading and commenting. Keep leading and stay away from procrastinating. I agree, if you take care of a problem issue are hard conversation first thing, it enables you to focus much better the rest of the day.

Take care,

Emilio  |  29 Mar 2013  |  Reply

Really a good post!
I fully agrre that mi must communicate more following the old style … face-to-face … in case it is not possible to walk to their office also a call is better than an impersonal and email … talking to the people you work with and building a relationship with them are crucial for a leader
Thanks for the posdobility to leave my comment

John Bossong  |  30 Mar 2013  |  Reply


I agree, face to face is the best way to communicate and build relationships. You make a good point about the phone call also. Great idea! Thanks for commenting and reading. Glad you enjoyed the article.

Take care,

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