Where is Your Focus?


July 28, 2010

*I was recently contacted by Steve Browne, the Executive Director of HR for Larosa’s Inc, regarding an experience he had while camping with the Boy Scouts.  He asked to share it with you and I whole-heartedly agreed.  Here is today’s guest post from Steve:

When we talk to each other at work, on Twitter, or on other social media sites, we assume that we know each other and it’s very cool that people develop that familiarity from short conversations or 140 characters.  We think we know someone when we usually only see one facet of who they are.  It’s important to realize that each person has many other facets.  We all have a myriad of roles we fill each day and one of the ones that I absolutely love is being the Scoutmaster of Troop 941 – a Boy Scout troop in West Chester, Ohio.  My son is in the Troop and I have been in scouting for eight years now!

My son and I recently completed our annual Summer Camp trip to Camp Frontier in the remote village of Pioneer, Ohio.  It was fabulous and each day brought more and more amazing opportunities to see what the boys were doing.  One particular highlight is that our Troop built an 11-hole putt-putt course in the woods of our campsite only using logs and rocks that they found on the ground.

So, what does this have to do with focus ??

Each day at camp, there is a Leader meeting for Scoutmasters. It’s a time to talk to the Camp Commissioner, discuss the schedule, and also give feedback about good things or concerns.  The vast majority of the feedback is negative, even though there are truly few negatives around. They are more “preferences” than complaints.  During one of the meetings, after the adults groused about how far they had to walk to the meeting, how the latrines smell, and if a swim test occurred or not, one of the leaders said, “Hey, did you see the Barred Owls near Ecology?”

I jumped at the chance to talk about something positive !!  The conversation then switched to the beautiful grounds and the many types of wildlife we all had seen during the week.

It reminded me of work environments and of HR in general.  Too often when we talk about work, and especially about the people we work with, we’re negative.  It is so easy to look at what’s “not working” vs. focusing on the great things that happen around us each day.Don’t get me wrong, I fall into this trap too.  But, this experience at camp shocked me out of it.  Since then, I have been  focusing on the positive things that happen each day.  Every day I do this, it gets to be more of how I choose to approach the day and I’m becoming a better human.

So, where’s your focus ??  Why don’t you take a second and take a look.  You’ll be surprised when you take some time to reflect.

By the way . . .

Here’s the owl !!


  • We become way to myopic by not stepping back and looking at the full picture. After all, if you can’t step back out of the fray, you can’t see the owl in the tree, for example.

    I had to do this, myself. By stepping back a bit, I also realised why I am not into any clicques anywhere I work. After all, the people I work on are my focus, and I can’t have a nice place to work if I don’t have clients. Focusing on the needs of the client IS what I have to do, for example.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking article.

  • So true, we don’t let too many things off the beaten path arrest our attention and people do tend to focus on the negative while taking the positive for granted.

    That owl clearly thinks that’s silly of us.

  • Great post. Wouldn’t it be fun to sponsor a “What’s great about today” contest among employees? Seems to me that life is all about what you choose to focus on.

    BTW…really cool pic of the owl!

  • Steve,

    Thanks for sharing. How sad that some of the adults couldn’t set aside their (temporary) discomfort and be positive role models for their campers. And, how fortunate they were to have *you* there to help shift the focus.

    LOVE the photo of the owl– what a beautiful creature!

  • Douglas, Working Girl, Liz and Jennifer – Thanks for the comments and for the encouragement !! I appreciate that you took the time to browse the post and see the owl.

Comments are closed.

Owl from Summer Camp
Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 17.20.39

About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.





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