Response and focus

In times of stress, our responses can take on traits that are designed to cope. Knowing the likely direction you may take can also help. POLLYANNA LENKIC

Pollyanna Lenkic

By Pollyanna Lenkic

This blog first appeared 30 October 2008

Look there’s something shiny over there!

This can be all it takes to divert your attention to another task, another project and conversation. A lot of the entrepreneurs that I speak to struggle with focusing on one task at a time; they often complain of getting bored easily and love new exciting projects and things that shine!

An entrepreneur’s ability to dream big dreams, see opportunity around every corner and be future focused is a strength – EXCEPT for when it’s not!

In a market place that is tighter, clients are quickly changing strategy, which is affecting your pipeline and sales, therefore it may be time to take stock and focus on some basics, stick to the “tried and tested” strategy that you know works. It may not shine, it’s not new – but it is required to survive in this market place.

  • What are the projects, tasks that are distracting you from your core business? Is it time to park them for awhile?
  • How’s your pipeline? How much time in your day do you spend keeping in touch with your clients?
  • Do you understand your clients concerns and issues? What’s the advantage of having this information?
  • What are you wasting time on right now?

I have spent some time asking myself these very same questions, and I know that getting distracted, particularly in this marketplace, is dangerous. The times I have been most successful in my business is when I have had a laser-like focus on my business. So it’s time to ditch and park anything that distracts me from this.

I recently did an Enneagram profile, which I found very useful. Turns out I am a “Type 7”. The information I received gave me further insights to help with refocusing.

I spoke to Vicki Crowe from Enneagram Australasia and she shared the following insights.

  • A high percentage of the worlds entrepreneurs are Type 7s. These include: Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos (founder of, Steven Spielberg, Anita Roddick (founder Body Shop), Steve Jobs (founder Apple).
  • Areas of concern for Type 7s are; commitment, follow through, closure, and explanation as to why you require them to undertake a certain task.
  • Type 7s are eternal thinkers; they will need to be reminded to bring their ideas down to ground in order to create action.
  • Areas of advantage are; they are great networkers, visionaries and futurists. They love juggling several opportunities at once, are big picture and big idea planners. They love the challenge of delivering a new angle on a problem or opportunity. They are great at making the best of a bad situation, they do not conceptualise failure.

The most valuable information I received was what happens to a Type 7 when they are under stress. Under stress, the Type 7’s basic style temporarily shifts to take on some of the characteristics of other Enneagram types.

When stressed they will move to the “perfectionist”, this gives the ability to ensure things are “right” and also a focus on the finer details. Likewise, when their life is balanced and they feel secure there is shift to take on some of the traits of the “observer”, which gives the abilities to become much more focused and delve deeply into a subject or activity.

If this profile resonates with you, then the advice given by Vicki Crowe is that all Type 7s need to have someone in their business and life who are very detailed to balance them and to help them get things done! I’m off to check in with the Type 1 in my life to get refocused.

A great book to read is Richard Branson’s autobiography. In his book he speaks about the importance of having people who are detailed to support his success. Sounds good to me.

The inspirational business woman and entrepreneur Anita Roddick said: “I can’t bear to be around people who are bland or boring or uninteresting (or to employ them). First you have to have fun, and then you have to go in the opposite direction to everyone else.”


Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to

For more Second Time Around, click here.



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