I heard a great story this morning that really illustrates the importance of focus if you want to achieve a result.
Apparently in the 70s when Kerry Packer was going through his legal battles in London with world series cricket – he was clearly very focused on winning.
He asked an emanate British lawyer ‘How many QCs (Queens Councils) do I need to win this thing?’ The response was ‘one maybe two’. Packer responded ‘Engage the top six QCs in the country.’ ‘Why?’ he said. ‘Because there is a long way between one and seven on the list and all six against number seven….’ Packer responded.
He brought all six of the best QCs together for a briefing and said ‘You must clear your desks of everything else that you have on… this is the only thing that you have to work on now, it is all about focus.’ It took many months to do this but finally, the QCs cleared their desks.
You can imagine that the QCs were the elite of British society, the cleverest, been to the best schools, absolutely British.
Packer brought them together every two weeks or so for a briefing to assess where they were up to with the case. In the first of these meetings, he brought a map, two pins and a piece of string.
Packer hung the map on the wall and announced, as he put one pin in London, one in Sydney and joined the two with a piece of string, “this is where we currently are (London). I promise each of you and your families a one month no expense spared amazing holiday in Australia when we win.”
Each meeting he would put a small flag on the string as to where they were up to. If they had had a good few weeks they might be somewhere over Africa, a bad week and they were back in France. The map (scoreboard) became central to each of these briefing sessions. There was much anticipation about where the six QCs were up to.
Needless to say, the rest is history. It doesn’t matter who we are, we all love a game, to be focused on the prize, and a score card to keep us focused.
As the scientist said as he focused his magnifying glass on a piece of paper and smoke began to appear – “If you focus you can set the world on fire.”
Thanks to Dr Geoff Garrett – CSIRO for sharing the story. So very relevant.