Leadership Strengths: Focused & Driven

His dream was coming crashing down around him. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be; this wasn’t what he had worked so hard to achieve. From the time he was a little boy he had known he wanted to join the Navy. He had worked hard throughout school in order to have the grades he needed to win appointment to Annapolis. And once he made it into the academy, that’s where the hard work really started.


It had been a difficult but very rewarding ten years since he first enrolled at Annapolis. He had chartered out his course and was well on his way to becoming a respected senior officer in the Navy’s nuclear submarine program. And then it all came crashing down one fateful summer.


His father was gone, a victim of pancreatic cancer. His mother was grieving. The family farm was about to go under. He was needed at home. With a heavy but hopeful heart, he resigned his naval commission, packed up his young family, and moved back to Georgia.


He knew that one dream was over, but he quickly realized that another one was growing in its place. He took advantage of the opportunities afforded him in this new season of life, and soon his inner drive was focused full force in a new direction. After another decade of hard work, the wheels were in motion, propelling him toward a goal much loftier than he had ever dreamed as a little boy.


As the years slowly passed, his drive and ambition never faltered. Finally, twenty-three years after leaving behind his dream career in the Navy, Jimmy Carter achieved a different dream, winning the election to become the 39th President of the United States.


Leaders with great focus and drive know exactly where they want to go and are determined to get there. Undeterred by setbacks or failures, these leaders make necessary adjustments, but always keep their eyes on the goal. With every goal reached, they set new, bigger and better targets and redirect their ambition and focus in pursuit of these new goals.


Focused and driven leaders tend to exude contagious energy and passion, inspiring those whom they lead and arousing even the most passive followers to effective action.


How about you, are you a focused and driven leader? How can you improve and leverage your own leadership strengths in order to become more focused and driven? By leveraging and applying your leadership strengths, you can become an even more effective leader who:


  • Pushes forward with determination
  • Is undeterred by setbacks or failures
  • Challenges yourself with bigger, better goals
  • Is energetic and passionate



This is the third in a series of eight articles highlighting important leadership strengths demonstrated by some of the world’s most powerful and influential leaders—former United States Presidents. I feature these same strengths in my inspirational presentation, Presidential Leadership, designed to encourage and equip participants to identify, leverage, and apply their own leadership strengths. Please stay tuned as we look at five more areas of leadership strengths in the weeks to come!



NielsenCopyright © 2013 by Dan Nielsen – www.dannielsen.com

National Institute for Healthcare Leadership – www.nihcl.com

America’s Healthcare Leaders – www.americashealthcareleaders.com

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