What is focus?

The process of “focus” gets bantered about endlessly, especially at wine distributor sales meetings. 

“You have to focus on this line of wines.”

“We need focus on this important importer.”

“You have to focus better on our number one account.”

“We have to focus on getting that wine on that wine list.”

In this light, “focus” is meant to be more attention on one thing. But that’s not what focus really is.

What focus really is, is the ability/gift/power to say no to the ten thousand other things that can distract in the work toward that one thing. Once it’s accepted that saying no is part of saying yes, then forward progress can be made (and truly great sales success can happen). But the manager that only says “focus!” without letting her sales reps also say no to many things is losing the point.