One of the real challenges in life and in leadership is learning to "keep your eye on the ball."
That is a phrase that comes from the sports world. Whether it's baseball, golf, football, or tennis, the masters of the game have learned (and disciplined themselves) to center their attention on the ball for those precious moments of time at which the ball is in play.
Sounds easy, but there are a gazillion distractions that vie for the attention of the athlete at those moments - the weather, the crowd, the noise, the opponent's chatter, the movement of the opponent, the desire to "peek" ahead to see the outcome, etc.
Just like in life. Just like in leadership. Tons of distractions vie for our attention, some purely happenstance and circumstantial, some purposeful attempts to cause our failure. And, just like the master athlete, we must discipline ourselves through persistent practice to stay focused on what matters most.
Why? Because missing the ball does not advance our cause.
Winning - in sports, in life, in leadership - is the direct result of our ability to "keep our eye on the ball."