I saw this quote in Quora
Alexander was able to adjust his entire army’s strength to focus on exactly what they needed to do, what he had taught them, not waste their energies. That :focus’ was what separated professionals from amateurs, soldiers from warriors.
I think about that statement and find that in my own experiences, when I build simple websites to complex applications, my thoughts at those time were “I can do this by myself for a couple of days which others seems doing it for weeks to months & I always have in the back of my mind what are the key success factor that I need to focus on and put everything else back as they’re supposed to be.”
I may say that this approach worked quite well, and have bring me up to my current condition. The same statement that pop up in my mind at that time about other was they’re amateurs, though now, I can see what they’re talking about, how a project would require so many people and so many time due to the processes and ensuring all features get done while before I can easily eliminate, replace or provide standard features for non key features.
But the mind set changing from :focus to process oriented does take a negative effect on me, it make me think sluggishly, just like the massive army again Alexander’s outnumbered army. In the big number mind set, I felt it is hard to accomplish small simple task, cause there are several steps in doing it and require communication and coordination, which brought me down mentally when I’m thinking about doing new ventures – I don’t even can see through the fog and yet I have to map out the teritorry for others so they can walk through it. Doubts, fear and feeling of incompetence toward self and team rise up. Though this mind set is useful for ongoing project that already have established objectives and how to do it, just add people to the process and refine it incrementally but it’s really bad in new ventures especially without pattern to follow or we trying to make out new pattern against the existing ones.
Focus, how Alexander saw it, is observing the opponent and condition, finding the weak spot that can be taken and then can have further momentum to crush other part of the opponent. Can the weak spot identified before hand? Sure, most of the time. Will it change in midst of war? Highly likely. So having a continuous focus that ever changing based on the latest status are the most advantageous strategy not the fixed and outnumbered strategy and they’re even better against opponent with the large, process oriented mind set which lack agility.
Though focus enable to identify, select, decide and act flexibily within short time, it also require efficient and effective execution for it to be successful, if they’re slower or at the same speed of the opponent and lack adequate power, though the focus are narrower, the opponent can easily match that, there need to be speed and power that can decisively subdue the weak spot or rather identifying which weak spot that has strategic advantage for further actions, with underwhelming condition against our speed and power (easily overcomed).
A though also come in while writing this down, a spine cannot stand erect perfect and stable in some part of the muscles that supported it is weak, ex: lower back muscle, though upper and middle back muscle are firm and trainable, if the lower back muscle is weak and untrained then the spine will have set back. Though it can still stand erect but it won’t be stable in long term.
This issue is about identifying which weak part exist in our self and create prevention plan and repair plan for it (the fear setting routine from Tim Ferris), whether strenthening them is necessary now or it is only to be solved later, can the current strength overcame the weakness enough so it won’t be a hindrance or this is the main problem that keeping us from reaching the objective all along, solving it is necessary to achive the objective.