Book Review: Total Focus by Brandon Webb

In Total Focus, Brandon Webb writes about seven key lessons he has learned during his time as a Navy Seal and also as an entrepreneur. I really enjoyed this book because not only is it informative, inspiring, entertaining, coherent, and easy to read, but it's also relatively short. I appreciate this because too many books are drawn out and take too long to read. I'm glad Webb kept it compact and stuck to the fundamentals.

Here are the seven lessons that Webb writes about:
1. Focus
2. Situational awareness
3. Taking action
4. Excellence
5. Embracing adversity
6. Teamwork/chemistry
7. Leadership

The first three lessons, when combined together, can help you drastically improve your performance in any field. Success is about action and execution. To succeed, you need to do the things that lead to success. And in order to execute each action well, you need both total focus and situational awareness. These are the basics of high performance. Webb sums it up great when he writes, "Do your homework, take every possible factor into account (situational awareness), focus unwaveringly on your target (total focus), and once the instant for action appears, act boldly and without hesitation."

However, these three performance skills mean nothing if you don't have the motivation and resilience to sustain them. That's why the next two chapters are about excellence and "embracing the suck." You must find the motivation to be disciplined and hold yourself to a high standard so you can effectively focus, become situationally aware, and take action. And since everyone faces adversity, you must have the resilience to get back up stronger than before, and the mental toughness to execute under intense amounts of pressure.

Lastly, Webb puts these skills, traits, motivations, and attitudes in better context by talking about the importance of teamwork and leadership. Like Webb says, no one can succeed on an island. You need a team around you to help you accomplish more. In the last two chapters, Webb gives you great advice on how to build a winning culture and how to be a transformational leader. I especially liked how Webb talks about the importance of treating your people like family and leading from the front.

Focus, be situationally aware, take action, strive for excellence, persevere and learn from adversity, work together, and lead! These seven lessons in this order are easy to understand, synthesize, and apply.  If you master these seven things, you can be successful in any field. Webb's emphasis on the fundamentals is what I like most about this book. However, there are still dozens of other helpful tips, lessons, advice, and motivation packed into this book as well.

The only criticism I have of this book that is worth noting is the misleading title and subtitle. The title, Total Focus: Making Better Decisions Under Pressure, made it seem like the book was going to be more about the psychology of focusing and executing under pressure. There is still some of this in the first couple chapters, but then it changed directions, which is fine. I still really enjoyed the book.

Anyone can benefit from this book, but I especially recommend this book to any athlete, coach, or entrepreneur.

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