To succeed at something, you need to really focus on it; and 'it' alone.
What this means is that you have to get good at saying 'no' to other things that come your way.
Some things are easy to say 'no' to - because they are of little interest to you from the start, but the true test of having focus, is having the commitment to say 'no' to things that sound really, really good.
Having focus means saying 'no' to a lot of good ideas; ideas that you are personally burning to explore - something that is tough to do, but a practice that needs to be worked on every single day.
According to Jony Ive - this was one of the greatest things he learnt from his time working with Steve Jobs at Apple.
A lot of the work that I help my clients with is helping them to stay committed to their focused strategies. Strategy itself is the art of focus, of compromise; it the embodiment of the practice of saying 'no'.
The opposite of saying 'no', is bureaucracy.
Big organisations loose focus because committees make decisions that please too many people. When focus is lost, the gap opens up for other more focused groups to disrupt the status quo created by the lack of focus.
Focus is difficult, saying 'no' to great opportunities is a very challenging thing to do, but success comes from applying all of your energy towards your one key differentiator.