Don't Get Distracted

Have you ever noticed what goes on when a player is shooting a free throw in a major game? Hundreds of people behind the goal are waving their arms, dozens of camera lights are flashing, and thousands of people are yelling and screaming. Lots of potential distractions for the shooter.

But great shooters know how to block out the distractions. They know how to focus on the basketball goal no matter what is going on all around them.

As a leader, it's important to know how to block out distractions and focus on your goal. Great leaders know what their goal is and stay focused on it no matter what is going on around them.

Don't get distracted by personalities. 
Great shooters are surrounded by all kind of personalities while focusing on the goal. Dominating personalities...opposing personalities...discouraging personalities...powerful personalities...personalities with a different agenda...hostile personalities.

But great shooters don't get distracted away from the goal by personalities.

As a leader, you will always be surrounded by personalities vying for your focus. If your leadership becomes personality driven, you will get sidetracked. Don't get distracted. Keep your focus on your goal.

Don't get distracted by problems. 
Great shooters are often surrounded by problems while focusing on the goal. A pulled muscle...a shooting slump...aching joints...weariness.

But great shooters rise above the problems. Their intense focus on the goal gives them the ability to succeed in spite of the problems.

As a leader, you will encounter problems. Yes, you have to deal with them. But don't let dealing with them distract you from your goal. Stay focused in spite of your problems.

Don't get distracted by pride.
The cameras are on. Reporters scramble to get an interview. Fans line up for an autograph. When this happens, a shooter's focus can be diverted. Interview time can become more important than the extra practice time that it took to bring success. The focus can shift from the goal to maintaining celebrity status.

As a leader, success can lead to pride. Don't believe your press reports. Stay teachable. Remember it's not about how much fame or camera time you can's about reaching the goal God has placed before you.

Don't get distracted by proposals.
Can you endorse this? Can you wear this? Can you sponsor this? Can you attend this charity event? Can you donate to this? Can we put your name on this? A great shooter is constantly approached with proposals.

As a leader, there will never be a lack of proposals. Can you start this ministry? Have you thought about doing this event? Why don't you provide this program during the summer? Can we use the building for this event? Would you mind sponsoring this community project? Why don't you provide this outreach? The church down the street does.

Just because someone proposes something, doesn't mean you should do it. Just because there is a "need" for something, doesn't mean you should be the one who meets it. Don't get distracted away from your goal by proposals. Focus in on a few, God-given goals and do them well. Let everything you do be a simple, intentional step toward your goal(s). Learn to say "no" to proposals so you can say "yes" to a laser focus on your God-given goal.(s)

Don't get distracted by pressure.
There is pressure when a shooter is focusing on the goal. Fans expectations...shooting percentages to maintain...teammates depending on the person...the stares and attention of everyone in the building...sometimes the entire outcome of the game or even the entire season rests on the person's shoulders.

But great shooters know how to stay focused on the goal...even under pressure. They know how to take a deep breath, relax, and welcome the intensity of the moment. The potential that lies before them rises above the pressure that comes with it.

If you are a will face pressure. Being a leader paints a target on your chest for pressure. The question is not "if" you will deal with pressure, but "how" you will deal with pressure. Learn how to deal with pressure without letting it overwhelm you to the point where you can't stay focused on the goal.

You're always at the free throw line as a leader. And there will always be distractions vying for your attention. Stay focused on the goal God has given you. It's your shot! Bury It!