Performance Practitioner | Focus is for goals not strategy

Dan is an organizational and leadership development consultant. Dan has 25 years of leadership experience with leaders all over the globe.

There is a misunderstanding that focus is a versatile tool. The word itself implies that there is a risk of blind spots. Many of the other principles of performance are reliant on intention. The competency of being intentional is easy to understand but challenging to achieve. Understanding intention and when to use focus can support leaders looking to be more vital performance practitioners.

Performance Practitioners  

Operational and sales leadership focuses on driving leaders and the front line to deliver on organizational objectives and goals. Many leaders do not understand how to leverage standards in observing and developing proficiency from each downstream employee. The ability to orchestrate performance is impossible without establishing proficiency first. Most team members exit their training or onboarding with 65% of their job knowledge at best. A big part of the learning process is through the experience of doing. Great leaders understand how to develop proficiency and use it to launch in creating even better performance. Each performance practitioner principle will lead each leader to control their performance weather patterns. 

Every scene and every frame has to have an intention.

Mira nair

What is Intention

Intention is the competency that supports activities around planning and being prepared at its lowest levels. When intention is practiced and used, it can be heightened to calling shots and setting a course for consistent performance. Great leaders know how to shift their intention into their aim. Intention can only be achieved through a growth mindset. Intention becomes a vital tool in producing confidence and momentum in achieving goals. 

Intention should be developed into a personal competency. A personal competency is ubiquitous, something that can be constantly strived for. The early phases are metacognitive work to establish foundational self-awareness that can be converted into stronger self-management. Examples of early stages may be learning to plan and outline with better intention -try creating stronger milestones and incorporating others for accountability.  

As each person works to develop their intention, it should shift into an aim. Everyone has heard about the person who intended to do something. Getting past the planning phase is crucial; your intention should not just be about sitting down and making a plan. Intention is more about the doing. It is developing practices, behaviors, and actions that can be replicated to achieve results. More importantly, it is about getting things done and understanding how each person does this. 

Intention has now been converted into a superpower that will support all the principles of being a performance practitioner. The force of intention should become an inner fire of confidence. This foundation is developed on identifying opportunities, the potential for a better outcome, and having the autonomy and fortitude to make it happen. 

The lens of intention

It is great to intentionally take time each day to make a plan and then step through it. It may seem like a basic task, but what about when priorities shift or someone throws additional work on the plate? It can only be allowed to be the excuse for not taking action for so long. Remember that intention is based on a growth mindset and breaking through -what action needs to be implemented to stop the whirlwind preventing an aim towards more productive goals. 

Mastering planning and taking control of each moment of the day is essential. Life can get challenging; it is expected. The breakthrough is setting sites on more considerable accomplishments. These results should help to level up your career and life. These results are great, but consider the behaviors that should start to come along with it. Things like communicating your desires in a way that others can understand. This development should be observed in basic networking and working coalitions. The discipline needed to sit down and accomplish tasks, often with some learning and practice, to master the skills required to accomplish each task. 

The top levels of intention are achieved through practice and an ability to refine best practices to achieve goals. The top level of intention is about creating autonomy -the ability to create a weather pattern and its lasting impact and results. A critical factor is that these are personal goals or opportunities, not ones that have been prescribed. The performance practitioner can intentionally see what is in front of them, develop a map, navigate it successfully, and achieve the desired end result. 

Under Developed Intention

Careful that intention does not develop a classification of the dreamer. The dreamer has all kinds of aspirations but lacks the drive, commitment, and follow-through that is produced through a firm intention -one where aim takes over, and steps are put in place to develop a roadmap to success versus relying on the right timing, patterns, or permission to make it happen. 

Focus is more of a needed skill

Developing focus can be critical in getting to the root behaviors or outcomes needed to achieve a goal. Focus is done in bursts and can be known for missing accurate details. Focus as a whole takes more context and correlates well with effort. When you think about other places where the focus skill is leveraged, it goes well with seeking. It is essential to place the workaround intention and develop the skill of focus to be a tool when needed. 


Developing personal competency takes time, and each phase must be identified, layer in behaviors & skills where possible. It starts with consideration of what results have been achieved through intention. Sometimes it means breaking down results to what particular influence came from direct efforts. Start from the beginning and layer in actions of intention, develop it to become a competency to deliver performance. 

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