Shiny Object Chasing and Your Focus

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shiny object

Shiny Object Chasing and Your Focus

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Are you focused on what needs to be accomplished? Do you go after the shiny object?

Many workplaces are filled with drama. Stepping back and looking at the drama we may realize that it is the excitement or interest that is attractive. The gossip, the mismanaged conflict, or the turmoil.


It may seem polite to ask someone about their day.

How’s it going?

What are you up to?

Did you have a good day?

Sometimes we listen and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes the question is asked only in an attempt to break the ice. In other cases, it is asked to create a distraction, shift the focus, or break up the monotony.

Describing What’s Interesting

When people respond about their day, they are often telling their story. Perhaps an attention capturing story. Responding with my day is, “okay,” is very different from, “I’m about to flip out on the boss.”

The shiny object syndrome applies to our workplace life in many ways. It is often suggested that this syndrome means we can’t focus and we’re always chasing something new, different, or presumably more attractive.

As soon as you start a conversation about focus it won’t be long until someone brings up ADD or ADHD. Certainly, this could apply to those who truly have a professional medical diagnosis. However, for everyone, what you focus on is what you get.

Shiny Object Chasing

What you focus on becomes a core part of the story you tell. The story you tell is your narrative. It is how you see and describe what is happening for you and those around you.

Chances are good that everyone has a part of their day that is both good and bad. Sometimes the good things just don’t seem as exciting as the bad.

Instead of looking for what is bad, try looking for what is good. Don’t let the shiny objects be the ones tarnished with doom and gloom. Don’t allow the most exciting things to be made of self-destruction, or worse, team destruction.

There is nothing shiny about gossip, mismanaged conflict, and turmoil.

Stay focused on things that positively, not negatively, are shiny.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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