A Leader Reads [#100Days]

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Join me as I attempt to focus a leadership lens on some of the largest fantasy series.

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The Eye of the World - Chapters 17 & 18 [#100Days, Day 15]

    Focusing Through The Distractions

    A few days rest in Baerlon, and the chase resumes.  Master Fitch, the innkeeper of the Stag and Lion, finds his inn ablaze shortly after the Emond's Fielders depart.  The Emond's Fielders find themselves at odds with Moiraine's single minded purpose.  Moiraine counters Nynaeve's questions about concern about the inn with several options; all of which would likely end poorly.

"And that would expose all of you to whomever set the fire, not to mention the Whitecloaks.  Which alternative would you choose, Wisdom, were you I?"
"I would do something," Nynaeve muttered unwillingly.
"And in all probability hand the Dark One his victory," Moiraine replied. "Remember what - who - it is that he wants. We are in a war, as surely as anyone in Ghealdan, though thousands fight there and only eight of us here."

Moiraine and Nynaeve, The Eye of the World, p. 217

    The three boys, especially Perrin, share Nynaeve's frustration with Moiraine's myopic mission focus.  From their perspective, it must certainly seem as though Moiraine cares little for the rest of the world, only keeping the three boys safe.  A sunken ferry, burned inn, among other casualties and collateral damage of the early battles, probably seem a fair price to Moiraine thus far.  While Moiraine has given some reasons behind her actions, the central one: "Why is the Dark One interested in these three young men?" remains unanswered; thus inducing friction into the group.  Moiraine and Lan must drive them all onward with single minded determination, looking at the larger strategic picture, and not the smaller tactical battles.

    Maintaining that larger perspective is how leaders drive their organizations over the horizon towards success.  That focus comes at a price, a sacrifice of other potential lucrative markets, or perhaps time, or diversity of product lines.  But all those extra efforts saturate limited bandwidth, giving mediocrity across multiple product streams instead of excellence within a limited focus.  Even at the personal level, leading ourselves; we are bombarded by constant distractions: the latest news, social media trend, or the latest 'shortcuts' to being better, faster, or more (of something).  All of this wants to demand our attention; pulling us away from the missions we find true value in.  Keeping an eye on the prize sometimes requires letting other things burn at the wayside.


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