Play Bold: Dear madam, please help me I lost my focus

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Many call her the Swedish 007. Christina Bengtsson is a global thought leader on mastering focus, a former military officer and world champion precision shooter, as well as a praised author, coach, keynote speaker, and lecturer. In this penultimate episode of the second season of the Play Bold Podcast, we will focus on, that's right, focus. We will discuss how you can take advantage of focusing while you innovate and move from idea to success. Here’s a very warm welcome for Christina!  

Maglis penkers newbook playbold how towin the business game through crative destruction is available to buy now onAmazon Com, read the book and, in the meantime, sit back and enjoyed theplaybold podcast. Welcome to the latest episode ofPlaybold, where this week we are going to be both shaken and stirred by thisweek's guest. Christina Banksen she's, like the female version of James BondShe's, a former military officer and world champion precision shooter, aswell as a global thought, leader on Master Focus, putting her under intenseinterrogation I'll hand you over to Meglis. Welcome to the next episode ofplay, Bald many called her. The sweetest dubo seven Christinabangton isa global thought, leader on more stringe focus, a former militaryofficer and the world champion position shooter, as well as a praised Authoro,coach, Kenot, speaker and lecture in this panultimate episode of the secondseason of Fayball podcast. We will focus on that's right focus. We will discuss how you can takeadvantage of focusing while you inerate and move from ideas to success. Here'sa weywill welcome to Christina welcome CRISINA. Thank you very much mang thissokist it up. What does focus MEA to you well excellent question, to start with,of course, what it means to me might be differentand to what it means to others. But what I would like to say is that, of course, focus means more to me andit means more to the world. I would say then people, perhaps think or perhaps know about. I think it's interesting. There are somany people around the world contacting me actually asking for help. They needfocus and they contact me. It could be a student from idia or it could be a COin Washington and they write the same thing like dear Madam. Please help me,I've lost focus and what they usually ask for is to pick perform to be better at petperforming in the short term perspective or to go as fast as theycan from ato be or to be more productive. This is what they usuallyask for, but to me I would say that, okay, yes,that is focus. That's one part of what focus is about, but actually in what Ilove to express and to explain is that focus is so much more, and I believethat we in the society in which we live to day need to bring in a much deeperperspective on focus. We need to ask the question what fundamental valuesunderlye a focused mindset, and we need to ask ourselfs if it is so that wesometimes feel that we have lost focus. What is it actually that we have lost? Is the ability to pick perform? is itsability to be productive? No, I think it's more. There is a deeper connection.We need to bring focurs into who we are what we want and what we can do, andthis requires us to bring in the perspective of how to reconnect to our innercorevalues, to our innercore identities. I have an expression. Someone told methe other day to remind me, I had said somewhere in some kind of interviewthat,...

...and it's like poetry, just as darkness is the absence oflight focus, is the absence of distractions. So, to put it easy, Iwould say: Yes, focus is a mind. Free from distractions. Focus is to find out, what's really is importantand to learn to ignore what's irrelevant, and this means to be ableto say no so focus is to find the correct thought.The right thought, amoung among thousands of others, and this helps youin the short perspective, and it helps you in the longer perspective. So why is important what Wat have changed?Why should we focus on focus? Why do we need to focus on focus rightnow? Well, I would say: Focus has been important throughout our history. If welook upon mankind in in a historical perspective, I believe that focus hasalways been important, and I think it has been a natural thing and innate skill that we have hadin our everyday life throughout the history and something that we saw asnatural, but we may not have been thinking so much about what it actuallyis, and today we live in a world where so many things are grabbing ourattention. You know everywhere you go someone or something. You know. Often adigative platform wants your attention. Your focus all the time, and this meansthat we nowadays need to learn to respect our attention. Our focus. Weneed to treat it with respect, and I would say that focus is today an innate skill that this, orat least, will be one of the most human capital of to day, because there are so many things aroundus that actually disturb our innatability and focus is to stay on target when everything elseis not so to say, and I also believe that it's importantthat we are so many people, so many persons around theglobe want to do good. Most people want to do good from an ividial individual perspective,but also in an organization, and this means that how can we meet futurechallenges, and how can we see opportunities if we do not, firstly, protect andreveal a cognitive and emotional potential, and for this we need focus.So it's really important you're listening to Magnus penker and guestson the playbowd podcast, it's really really interesting to listening to yourinsights and that the play ball podcast is quite much about actitude culture.Leadership to be able to to change, transform and drive innovation, and andwhen I work and my team work h with training for Enovation, a pretty bigpart is to prioritize under extremely high uncertainty. YouNeed Tho praoritise. Even if you don't know you need to have a focus, but youmight not know what to look lock on. You might have a bigger idea, but butye, but you have to produce hypototesis. You need to take a standpoint to nead,to experiment and learn. You might be...

...absolutely wrong with absolutely right.You don't know that from the beginning and it's an Itra timpresens for youneed to evalate Te revite and aredew. They may be decide not to go ahead andjust close it down, and otherwise you might find somethingto take further, which means that you have to accept to be very disciplined,but you might not know the next step. How would you assubore deing expert onfocusing thinking about it? What kind of advice would you like to give toinnovation theams to be able to accept oncertainty high discipline, but youmight not know the commong steps? Yes, I would like to bring you and the audious audience into why no take a pesition shooting match as an example. If you imagine, you are supposed toshoot sixty shop in a road in a row and you need to hit the target and it's notsufficient, just hitting the target. You need to hit ten point fourmillimeters to be able to actually hit the tenwhich you must do if you are supposed to win the competition or at least goto the finals. So what do you need to do? Well, many people think that you manage this thanks to the goalthanks to division, thanks to the fact that you've told yourself that I'mdoing this, because I want to stand high upon the podium I'm doing thisbecause I want to have a medal around my neck. I want to show the worldaround me that I I can perform and I can win. But if youthink about the goal in every shock that you shoot, you willfail, because you will put too much pressure on yourself and you will startto fear what happens if I don't hit the ten. What happens if I hit the nineinstead or even worse, what happens if I don't even hit the target? And again you need to be very sharp,very precise. You need discipline, you need your sharpness, your precition, inwhat you do so when performing well, it's all right to not think of the goal.It's all right to get rid of the goal. I sometimes even tell people to well what, if you don't have a goal, do youlove what you do? Can you find passion in what you do and if duranswer is nowell, then they need to rethink. So I remember in the very first beginningwhen I told the people that hello, I have decided to become world championin a sport, and I do this because I want to be the best people were amazed and people said tome. Oh, I wish I was as Gol or inhated as you can be, and I felt good, butafter a while, after about three years when I had lost all competitionsbecause of because of university, I was the worst shooter on Earth. To beginwith, I realized that I need a deeper passion than simplytrying to become the best, and I found that passion in understanding what to focus inconcentration is so my journey from tdeciding tect from taking the decisionto become best in the world in a sport was more of a strangity. Then it was toactually try to become the best. I realized in this or during this journey,that hey life in itself must be greater than simply standing on Acodium, and itwas and to realize this before you...

...actually step up step up on the podiumis a quiet relief, because this takes away all these thoughts that are, asyou say, locked upon the goal locked upon a vision which may even which maynot even exist, because how can you know what it is to stand on a podio? How can you knowthe value of standing on a podium if you'v never been there, and I thinkthis is the same for organizations for people in the organization and for thetolk leadership in an August organization. You do not need to know exactly whereyou're supposed to go. The important thing is that you find passion, it'snot necessary, but it's good passion and trust in who you are and what you cando in the very moment and that you find your capacity, your true potentials tobe able to focus on what can be done now, and if you do that good, you willbe able to win in the extension, and you will also be able to have an openmindset, because this is also to be focused to be able to doin thesejourneys and duing. All these changes see what's important right now, andthis means to be able to sometimes say no and not say yes to everything. Thatappears was that a kind of answer to this question: It is it's Reallyan, the playboldpodcast find out more at innovation, hre, hudred and sixtycom forwards playbold. I have te the same experience that when you try to win every day youlose because you so afraid of not winning, so you need to train andpractice and learn and mastering it Tan find a passion. And then, when you needto win, you win and it's a very good example that you take. I thinkeverybody can visualize really what's happening on when you,when you really do this tense, you ting and miss all of them, if you its very nervous to to miss full ofthem, so that that Alsoi Brids to my next next question about higher purpose,a lot of the guest we had have emphasis the importance of ahigher purpose, not not necessarily a big fancy, vision more like the. Why? Why are you doing what you're doingwhat's really motivated to get to get up from bed and do this day to anamazing day? So H have you? What is your take on that? You think it'simportant with a Higer p purpose link to be able to focus and get a job done? Yes, my direct responses. Yes, it's veryimportant. It's really good to have a higher purpose, but many people do not have a highr purse and that must be acceptable. We must accept the fact that quite fewpeople see a higher purpose. What I've seen is that sometimes we try to forceourselves to see the higher purpose and many many companies, you know buildstrategies in which they write very nice, expressions that there is ahigher purpose and there was there is a world betterman solution. The businessis important to save the world in the extension etc and in Italit. Initially.I think people feel good about this. Everyone, the youngr generation,definitely wants to be involved in in movements and organizations that can express that they are anddoing something important to the world and that there is a higher purpose. Butwhen it comes to the everyday work, which actually is the basic for beingable to produce something that makes a world bederman solution in in the longrun,...

...many people cannot so to say, stay focused or stay enthusiasticduring a day just by thinking about the higher purpose, all the time, becausesometimes that can even it's the same connection to the goal. Sometimes thatcan even feel too complicated too much or you can feel too small in the bigperspective. So I believe that what we could do is to sometimes dare toisolate the work from the higher purpose and to see what happens and toallow people to perform in the short perspective. Sometimes when you wake upin the morning depending on who you are because we are so different and itdepends on where you are in life, you wake up in the morning, and you say toyourself that I'm doing this because I want to save the world okay. Well, then,that's good! You are. You are one of the lucker ones who can think thisevery day, but there are many other persons who wake up in the morning oractually ask the question: Why am I doing this, and then they try to forcehemself to think on a higher purpose and they don't really sense it. Theycan't really feel it, and this is normal. This is okay, so sometimes weneed to bring down the or lower lower thei requirements for one person. Themain purpose that day can perhaps be to do a job. Do it good feel, feel excellent, come back home and bean excellent mother? That's maybe the main purpose for one person, and Ithink this is an excellent purpose, because if we can so to say, produceexcellent parents what happens well, we will help the children, the youngyounger generation, to get into a mindset where they support trust, wherethey support love, understanding where they know what attention towards another personis, and we bring a important fundamental values that, in the furtherextension, will help businesses, companies and the world to actually erreach towards that higher purpose. Whatever it was. So I think that if we look upon this question from afocus perspective, lower the requirements dare to see that thepurpose for the day might just be a little purpose within your own familyor within your own work. We have, for instance, thise personswith an autistic mindset where they're extremely sharp and can resist impulses be extremelyfocused and concentrated on what they do. Many of them do not need a higherpurpose, but they can be extremely important to have within anorganization to do what they're supposed to do, and they can feel sosuch a enormous value in life, affirming feelings of just existing ina focusd situation where they are allowed and given the opportunity toperform with excellent, because that's where the whole mind and the brain isfull of UNDORPHIENS and oper mind and they perform excellence, and this iswhat we need, so we shouldn't be afraid of not feeling a higher purpose all the time, becausethat comes naturally, if we ask humans as a mankind, give ourselves theopportunity to work with with focus and with excellence. We are. We have such apotential if we do not walk ourselves into a kind of collective blur.whereveveryone is grabbed into...

...different viral extreme happenings. That's wherewe lose focus. We need to bring it back into a short term perspective. You seewhat I mean IIT's very problematic. I in larger corporations, while on Yo one hand, need to come upwith redical way of working to keep up with the competition and also tocontribute to actually saving the planet. On the other hand, you need tohave multivated people every day so many times. I have seen that in my workthat you you need to actually to somehow in still the higher purpose Dand avoid this big fancy at Agenci's formulas for really just be exposed andvisualized on the front, vagacineof, forbs or whatever it could be, andinstead think of the many people and what you can do for everybody. So Ithink that the higher purpose should be in delinked o many levels, and I also have seen- and it's a verygood advice to bring up here. I Ave seen many times how most of the peoplethey want to do exactly what what they'r doing and they're very happywith that, and they are absolutely necessary to create what I call theblood circular in an organization. Without them you gone right fut. You also need to beable to focus on what to come and be prepared for that, and this balance.This anbigity is pretty hard to reach, to be able to think here now and in thefuture. So saying that, typically, you try to have goals thatare more like operational and then you might have tacticalatilicos and whenyou set it all that is high lobrational, it's pretty straightforward to breakthat tap intoactions, but you I really want it to oppose to you. I'm looking forward to this this you'relistening to Magnis, penker and guests on the playbowd podcast. If you havemore of a tactical O or Operatongol, how do you break Tha town into actions?Because if you don't you lose people huw, I mean I guess in your career,both thesport an the miditary as a focus export. You must come into thesituation where executimes or other people, you coach, ask you Foky. I have this tacticalOstatericol, but I don't understand how the heck I should break it down. I can focus on it, but it doesn't helpme. How do you do thing? Yes, exactly? How do you do? How do we do it? I feel excellent by the way. How do you owd yothat? I think it can be really nice forpeople to hear from as o. You very well expressed world champion and focus expert that I do fail with thisas well, but I have struggled with this as well. I remember from being you know,in the military and Takan example, when I remember I was sitting in a kind ofclassroom, military crassroom and I had generals in front of me. We weresitting in a group and generals expressed with a powerpointpresentation how important it was for us, as in this case it was the militaryteam in shooting how important it was for us to to in, and it was a timelinein two years and four years, it's Treatot to win this and thatcompetition as an individual and acatame- and I looked around- and I saw thesefriends around me within the military team- I was the only woman- doesn'tmake difference, but still maybe I as a...

...woman enjoyed to to evaluate thesituation and she sends the feelings in the room, and I could see that allthese guys hardly understood what the vision was about. They sat there. You know with hanging faces and no one dared to say that hello.Excuse me a general. I don't get this, I'm not good enough to be able toperform. I'm not good enough to be able to win the world champion title in twoyears. So why am I here? No one dared to ask the question, but I was the onlyone in the room who may had a little chance to at least get up on the poniumin two years, so I didn't say anything but afterwards. I realized that I mustin my position. I need to take a responsibility here and walk up to thegenerals and say that hey these bishons and these goals arl what you want, but we do not. We do not evenunderstand ND, so we ask the people there need to write that power. Pontpresentation the next time, not you the people that the shooters in this caseneed to write the short tem goals, and then we willsee what happens then we will see. Can we reach to Higer goals? Again we maynot know, but what we can do is to put the team in a situation where they areallowed to perform as good as they can and to give them motivation withoutfearing not reaching the goal. So again we come back to the fear oflosing. How can we help people to Goet rid of that? Well, we can because it'sa natural way of thinking, so what we can do is to practicefailures in Sweden. I believe we are quite afraid of even practicing thefailures, so definitely from from a Skandinavianpoint of view. We need to be much better in practicing the failures andwe need to discuss with each other in a different way. I think, because I oftenget the sens of that people see me as the world champion and they alwaysspeak about how I became a world hampion and to me that was just a shortjourney. That was just a preparation to be able to do what I do now and stillpeople think that standing on a podium is the best thing you can do in a life.No, it's not. There is a much deeper dimension than being the best. So Iwant to elaborate with the question we are so many times searching forstrining for trying to become best, and I would say well when what is to bebest. What is that, especially now in an era in a time era, ere everythingchanges very fast. I even feel like saying that why do we so many timescompare sports to business? Well, it's good in many ways. Of course, Iunderstand that I agree in one way, but actually sports.I know it's hard. You practice several hours, you need to handle universityand all that yes and you learn a lot yes, but sports is easy. Compare it tobusiness because sports look upon it every fourth year there is a world champion or no welldom,shapionship or Olympic Games, and the distance are the same. Thestrategies how toget there are probably the same, even the conquerance are thesame, but in business things has changedenormously during a period of five five years, so you can't really compare that.What we can do, I believe, is to elaborate with what is it to becomebest, and I would like to Shay this is a statement from my side try to becomebest in the sense of being better than...

...others. That is an absolete philosophy, because what is it? What we need to dois rather to we have said that before, but you know to learn to compete withourselves. Instead of comparing ourselves or our business with otherconquerments all the time, because when you do that, you focus on them whatthey can do, what thee may do in the future, what they have achieved or whatthey will achieve instead of focusing on your true potentials, yeah, I don'tknow if that was a clear answer to this interesting question, but it was atleast a way of thinking. I think it's it's throw someinteresting lights non things that has to do with enrolling people to goals,and it also linkd me to to the next question I have for you and Lhet Tisamount about making choices. The playbold podcast find out more atinnovation, re, hudred and sixtycom forward s play bold a lot of peoplecompared compared business in the past, with chess, and now people comparebusiness with sport or entertainment Aa. All of this perspectives is interesting,but it's one perspective. My wife is a midwife. I love to listen to her and Ilearne so much about business when I listen to my wife, because that's aboutlife to giving life and helping someone to give birth and and also taking careof that child, and in my book, business is more closeto Balo biology than andcls. Still it's ore interesting to look on differentporspectives and see how we could improve a port of the system, and I think that bycombining disciplines we can take it so much further. So what I would like to ask you not asa world champion Athletbean athlete, but but also Asse and former officer and Alsineural right now is one of the leading experts in the world may be theleaving export in the world in focussing. I would like to ask you about makingchoices, because when you lead a little of people in this podcast, they do leadorganizations or advice people leaving organizations, and when you transformyou innorate, you grow, you have to make choices and it could be a choice where you knowthat that the outcome might be less favorable in short term Ha. You might know that you take adecision where you don't even know the outcome, but you have to make adecision. How can you train yourself in doing that HM yeah? It comes back to to, as yousay, military perspective, where we havethis old fashioned perhaps, but it's really interesting still to tohighlight that expression that taking a decision, even though it'swrong it's better than not taking a decision at all. Yes, I agree especially N in timeswhere something is really dangerous, which it can be inindifferent military operations. That's where it comes from. If you stand still, the enemy will hit you. So it's kind ofobvious and from a focus perspective, it's actually easier to come into sharpness discipline andfocus if there is a direct threat upon you, but nowadaysyou know we don't really live in the military operations. Well, in the military we do and in somebusiness cases we do, but there is a large amount of time that is, for the administative part in everyday life within theorganization and again in everyday life.

Also from a private perspective, Ibelieve we need to bring in the private perspective, like you just did into thebusiness. It goes hand in hand much more now, perhaps than it did before.Taking choices is important. Perhaps it's even more important to learn to tosay no, that's also a choice. I believe that we are so used to decide what weneed to do and to take choices to be able to get somewhere and we want totake choices fast, because otherwise someone else is taking that choice,perhaps or we are afraid of almost beingforgotten. I live about this because I think of I might lose track now, but I promisedto come back. Ask The focus expert, I'm thinking about it was a year agowhen the PADEMMIC started and many of my friends who work, if I'mallowed to say only as speakers or lectures got afraid, because theycouldn't come out to the audience anymore and they started to to directlyyum jump into the digital world where they started to, if I'm allowed to say, produce quick fix because they wereafraid of being forgotten. So they thought that they needed to be seenevery now and then on the Internet in different platforms. I indeed, ofcourse the opposite. I realized that HMM, my position is to be a focusexpert. I am against quick fix. I do not support quickfix. I resist torespond to people's superficiality and nowor days, onl the Internet. Wehave so much that goes fast, that is quick fix and if we support that wellwewill never get get away from it. So I took another way and I was silentand no one has forgotten me so again, that's also a choice, so Ifeel like asking the opposite: Can a choice sometimes be to decide to donothing, because what we need to do also in this discussion of takingchoices, and how do you take choices is to to give ourselves time to reflect. Iknow in your book you mention in the very first beginning, or maybe it's inthe pre face Peter Drucker, the rifereth referenceto Peter Drucker, and he said many shark things one of the things he saidit was that we need time to reflect, and I think about reflecting upon theEror we live in today is that it makes me think os sof. There was anauthor. I on Ninetunen, sixty nine who wrote his. He was Swedish. He wrote abook called the restless man and I'm thinking if we were restless then well. What are we so now because to be able to take the whitechoses, we need to give ourselv space and time to reflect, and I think goingback to the private part. How can we learn from our own families, from our children, from our wife, fromour men or from the one we are living with, or our closest friends to give another person isn't the bestthing you can give another person? Isn't that time and attention- and this is focus because when you giveanother person time and attention- and it could be your employees, you givethem a space where you interact, where you find sharp solutions and where yougo back into your core values, your...

...cordentities, you give yourself the ability to reflect upon what reallyis important and yo. You create a space, a focus space where you free from allthese distractions, all these things that wants to grab your attention allthe time, and I think this is something we can become much better upon orbetter in whatever you say in English, an to create space in which we can reflect,because we need that to be able to take true sharp choices and decisions and torefer to your wife there. As you learn a lot from your wife. I remember- and this is so this is sonice. It's connected to to sustainability actually, and allcompanies are working with sustainability in one way, becauseotherwise they do not survive. I guess I walked hand in hand with my shun. Hewas six years at that time. He's now. Eight we walked into one of these bigsupermarkets, where everything is exists, supermowls and he stops, and hestand completely still he's holding my hand and I stop as well and he lookaround and he see all these things around inthe big mall and he has extremely big eyes and then he says to me: Ma'm Mam,look, see, look, see, see how many things we don't need right. So maybe maybe in a business perpectiveas well, we can win in the sense of to dare to say no and to dare to sometimes donothing and to dare to gare ourselves and the people within the organizationtime to more or less do nothing, because this is where the sharpdecisions are taking. This is where you dig into your twue potentials and we need this to be ableto to survive and to Babor to compete and to be able to to again reach thehigher purposes as we live in a quiet, intensive world. Thank you so much. It has been truepleasure t to have you as a guest on play, Boll Tand, I'm I'm fascinated and I'm sure theaudience will take all this wisdom and also the perspective that you broughtup for today. It has been a true pleasure to have you as my guests, sothank you, some Oxcis Inou for being on the playboal, let's focusing on gettogether soon again, absolutely I'm looking forward to this myness er, veryver goodg. Thank you and good luck to everyone. Thank you as ever for joiningus for this latest episode, which actually almost brings season to aplaybowd to a close. But next week Magnis has handed the control over tome and I'll be taking a look back at all the episodes from this season andsharing some of the highlights from a wide series of fantastic guests. In themeantime, make sure you get hold of Magnus's new book play bold, how to winthe business came through creative destruction and, as ever in themeantime, stay safe and play bold.

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