Most acknowledge the value of focusing efforts on what’s most important. Yet few of those same people are prepared to decrease their efforts on other things. The math doesn’t work. Since time and other resources are limited, you cannot really increase effort in one area without decreasing it in other areas. This is why it’s so important to come to grips with what you want and what you are willing to give up to get it.
One new regional leader was upset by a colleague’s power grab. The colleague was politicking to roll up all the regional R&D facilities (and people) into a single, global group, reporting into him as the global head. The regional leader thought this would limit his ability to deliver his regional goals.
My suggestion was “give up”. Give up control of the facilities to the global colleague. Give up the headaches of managing those resources. Instead, focus your efforts on solving consumer and customer problems better than your competitors can. Influence your global colleague to manage R&D to supply the tools to solve those problems. This way you can increase your focus and impact on what’s most important and decrease your efforts on the day-to-day operational management.
Be clear on what you want. Proactively go after it. Reduce efforts on everything else.