I’m a big college football fan. That’s something that comes up pretty regularly here or on my Twitter feed, Facebook page, or even in the page of some of the magazines and websites that I write for.
So the other day I was passing through my local library because I had reserved a book that I needed for some research I was doing. And, I saw a copy of Paul Finebaum’s book in the window.
You may or may not know who Finebaum is…really depends on where you are from and where you went to college, but even I have only really followed him for the last few years.
The short story about Finebaum is that he is a radio host from the South and he talks about college football and the South Eastern Conference every day. Not just during football season, but all year round.
His on-air persona is one of curmudgeonly discourse and forceful opinion.
Yet, reading the book, you find that there is a core to his work and it isn’t even the sport that he is covering, but it is the people that he talks with each day.
Throughout the book, Paul lays his success at the feet of the callers that call in with their forceful opinions, their stories, and their passion for his show and the sport that they all share.
Which got me to thinking about focus. For Finebaum, it would be easy to focus on just the ins and outs of a game or a sport, but by focusing on the people that care and that listen to him, he has created something that is much larger than any one team or any one conference…it is a community.
For most of us, we are always looking for a community to be a part of. And, day after day, over the years, Paul Finebaum has looked at his audience and focused on community each and every day…even to the point of neglecting his guests.
This brings up a point that all of us should consider: we have the ability to focus on something and even focusing on nothing is a choice.
When we spend our time focusing on the things of highest value, our relationship to those things changes and it enables us to have greater impact in our community and in our world.
In Paul’s book, he talks about missing out on being on the air on the day of the Boston Marathon bombings and the feeling that his show could have aided his community in their healing and processing of the event.
That’s a powerful statement about heart, passion, and community.
The challenge for all of us, is to find a way to deliver those same attributes in the work and world that we operate in.