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I've never met a leader, including the bad ones, who did not exhibit superior skills in the area of attention to detail.

by Rick Baker
On Oct 1, 2015

I've never met a leader, including the bad ones, who did not exhibit superior skills in the area of attention to detail. [That comment was first published September 16, 2014 - Leaders skills can be damned annoying - and it generated some questions.]


Now – I’m not saying they exhibit a superior overall level of attention to detail. While I believe that is likely true, it is not the point I am trying to make here.

The point is - leaders, both the highly-successful ones and average ones, focus their attention on selected things and dig deep into the details of those selected things. In this way, leaders exhibit superior attention-to-detail skills.


  1. select/choose topics of key interest to them,
  2. focus/hone their attention on those chosen topics, and
  3. sustain/repeat that intense attention for long periods of time.

These 3 actions – selecting topics of interest, focusing attention on those topics, and sustaining that attention – are what leaders do to a far greater degree than other people.

And, these 3 actions promote increased knowledge in specific areas and increased attention-to-detail [in those specific areas].


If you accept the concept of brain neuroplasticity, as described in detail over 100 years ago, and as proven scientifically during recent years, then you will understand how the above 3 actions ‘feed upon themselves’ to grow solid and unshakable thought processes. These deep-rooted thought processes serve specialists as they master action-skills and develop strength in performance.


When leaders do the 3 things described above, they are thinking and acting in ways that take them toward their long-term goals. The 3 things, by definition, are good habits...good leadership habits.  In summary - all leaders do the 3 things: select topics, focus attention, & sustain attention. Other people are less selective, less focused, and give up more quickly.

Of course, some leaders possess far greater skills than others and some leaders make better choices than others. As a result, some leaders succeed and achieve their long-term goals while other leaders do not.


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