What I Learned at The Focused Leader
What I Discovered at Michael Hyatt’s One-Day Event
I recently attended The Focused Leader, a one-day intensive hosted by author, speaker, and leadership expert Michael Hyatt. It was such an unforgettable experience that I thought I’d share a bit about it with you.
In order to provide you with as full a view as possible, I’m going to cover the venue, the format, and the content.I attended @MichaelHyatt's The Focused Leader event, and here is what I experienced and learned. #focusedleader #thefocusedleader Click To Tweet
The venue was The Factory at Franklin, a former stove factory just outside Nashville. The event was in Liberty Hall, the largest space at The Factory. It features a large stage with big screens on either side. The microphones on either side of each screen were used during brief Q+A periods. (I asked a lot of questions …)
Michael’s books and planners were available for purchase inside Liberty Hall, as were curated “book bundles” featuring books by some of his favorite authors.
We were seated classroom style. The mood was relaxed as the lighting was not as bright as it is in most hotel-type conference areas. The vibe was hip and artisan, so you know it was right up my alley.
In addition to the usual complimentary liquid refreshments, mixed coffee, cold brew, and chai latte beverages were available for purchase. (Of course, I had two.)
The Factory at Franklin features individual studios filled with makers and artisans, so you know I was in my element. During our 90-minute lunch break, I went window shopping! I browsed all kinds of lovely artisan shops including a guitar maker, a paint-it-yourself studio, a creative florist, and a handmade mens’ grooming brand.
I also saw the highly recommended Five Daughters Bakery, but I didn’t have a single donut. I lunched at Mojos Tacos, which was delicious. (Get the Korean Cauliflower with Gochujang (red chili paste) and Mojo sauce, ginger slaw and toasted sesame seeds.)
After registration, the intensive began at 8:00, opening with a welcome from the emcee, followed by an introduction of Michael Hyatt. Following a brief welcome, which began with a story, Michael dived straight into the content.
We were provided with a sturdy workbook with ample space to take notes and doodle our thoughts. (I’m a doodler.)
Michael delivered a 6-part framework for goal-driven business growth. Each section lasted about 30 minutes. After each, we were provided with 15 minutes to reflect, take notes and complete workbook sections for self-discovery. Curated by Michael’s wife, Gail (see below), the background music during the reflective times was perfect for deep thought.
There were four periods for Q+A, during which Michael and his Chief Operating Officer (who is also his eldest daughter), Megan Hyatt Miller, answered questions from the stage. At the conclusion of the program, we were asked to share takeaways from the microphone.
The content loosely followed the layout of Michael’s latest book, Free to Focus.
The premise behind the Focused Leader event is that achievement is driven largely by your ability to focus. Your business will not grow beyond a certain point unless you assess exactly what it is you are trying to create, and then focus on that. This requires you to stop looking outside of yourself to determine your course.
If you want to lead your business to success, you must commit to leading yourself first.
While Michael was the main speaker, we also heard from Megan Hyatt Miller during the Q+A periods. Megan’s input was a super balance to Michael’s. When it comes to questions of success through entrepreneurship, I value both the male and female perspective. Had Megan not been there, the feminine leadership perspective would definitely have been sorely lacking.
I Took Several Pages of Notes …
Here are just a few of my principal takeaways.
• Stop before you go. Pausing to reflect on your true life desires is the only way to identify which tasks and projects you should focus on. Once you know exactly where you are going, you can allocate your time for tasks and projects that will lead you there.
• Distractions are expensive. We never really know their full price.
• Time is fixed, but energy can flex. We all have the exact same number of hours in each day, but how we insert our unique energy into those hours is what delivers our results. Monitoring your energy swings allows you to do your most productive work when your energy level is best suited to produce at your best. (This goes back to leading yourself.)
Eliminate, delegate, automate. Every piece of data that comes your way needs to be taken care of, and you can eliminate a lot of it before it even gets to you by setting up systems to filter out almost everything you don’t need to spend your precious time on.
Michael recommends Sanebox (which I use) to eliminate unwanted email. Whatever gets through your various filters must be either delegated or automated. Figuring out how to do this is hard work that requires intention and relentless focus on what’s most important to you.
I Have Work to Do …
Now that I’ve had a chance to reflect on what I learned, as I approach the 20th anniversary of the Indie Business Network, I realize I have some serious work to do.
I have decided to start by sketching out an Implementation Plan to put Michael’s Free to Focus framework to work in my life and business. Here are the first actions I am beginning to take now.
- Up-level my results through accountability and coaching. I have worked closely with a business coach for several years, but it’s time to go to the next level. I enrolled in Michael’s personalized business accelerator coaching program. I expect to be challenged and held accountable in exciting new ways. I am at once thrilled and terrified at the prospect of where I and my business will be a year from now.
- Double down on my finances. I have always kept an eye on the bottom line generally, but it’s time to shine a spotlight on how I can be more financially efficient in my business. I need to focus on what activities keep the line moving up and to the right without unnecessarily increasing my costs or distracting me from my highest priorities. I have a decent accountant, but this summer, I will find someone who can not only crunch my numbers, but help me improve them.
- Monthly meetings with myself. I’ve got to figure out how to be more intentional about planning and executing. Up until now, a quarterly meeting with myself and weekly meetings with my team have been sufficient. Today, I feel the need for something more. I’m not sure what that will be overall, but I think it starts with me taking a full day each month to assess personal and professional progress, and tweak for improvements as I go. My plan is to create a new self-leadership system over the summer.
- Energy management. I am so weak here, it’s not even funny. This summer will be a time of re-tooling my energy starting with more intentional focus on movement and nutrition. Honestly guys, I am not looking forward to it. But it’s got to be done …
I Met Some Really Nice People …
After the event, I had the opportunity to meet personally with Michael and others on his team. Each of them were genuinely warm and funny, and a pleasure to talk with. I look forward to future opportunities to meet again.
Another highlight was the lovely personal chat I had with Michael’s wife, Gail Hyatt, who was just a total delight. She was gracious enough to pose for a picture with me.
Summary: I Highly Recommend This Event
This post barely scratches the surface of the impact The Focused Leader had and continues to have. The timing was perfect for where I am in my life and my business at this time. Intuitively, I knew that would be the case. I’m glad I was right.
If you are committed to taking your business to the next level, especially if you feel like you may have maxed out your capabilities to push yourself further on your own, I highly recommend you attend The Focused Leader. You have two more opportunities this year, on September 5 and November 12.
Tickets are not inexpensive, but if you are ready to commit some significant resources (both your time and your money) into your personal growth and development, it is worth every penny.
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