Call to ACTION: The Three Principles of FOCUS

Posted By: Toni Blake

Call to ACTION: The Three Principles of FOCUS

Vision / Commitment / Momentum


FOCUS has been superseded by uncertainty, as a staggering number of long-term management practices are disrupted by the challenges of 2020. For some this is a season of survival, for others, an opportunity to shine! Now is the time to create a call to action using the three principles of focus.


A principle is a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for a system, a chain of reasoning. The the chain of reasoning in the principles of focus begins with vision, which inspires commitment, which produces momentum, which leads to results. Focused organizations will continue to accomplish their goals on time and in budget, with high-quality results. Overcoming disruption is a requirement if we are to successfully reach our 2020 key performance indicators (KPIs).


FOCUS Principle 1: VISION

A clear vision establishes confidence and direction. It provides the exact GPS for our growth, accomplishments and success. In February of 2019, I signed up for the Outdoor Diva Triathlon Series to be held in Colorado on August 18th. Six hundred women were completing the triathlon sprint, and I planned extensively to be one of them. I knew from my first Triathlon experience what it would take to get ready. I studied the map of the one-half mile swim, reviewed the 12.6-mile bike course and followed the turn-by-turn map on the 5K to the finish line.  I established goals, set alarms and posted motivational affirmations. My audiences were a part of my accountability group. My vision was seeing myself cross the finish line.


Have you heard the saying, “The Devil is in the details?” Unfocused goals create a insecurity, unpreparedness, and confusion. If the details of how to accomplish the goals are vague, teams stall out trying to find their way. They begin performing, unknowingly, outside of the executive expectations. A clear vision for property management certainly requires focus. It should embody our goals, along with our purpose and core values. A clear vision, with purpose, comes to life in the hearts of team members. Take time to add implementation details to your 2020 directives. Provided additional resources, team support and clarity on new policy and procedures. Create shared motivational experiences with executives to reinforce the company culture. Re-engage the company communication platforms with fresh, informative updates to keep the mission, vision and culture fresh.



Commitment is the gas in our engine that moves us forward. In business, it’s the “why” behind our efforts - why we do what we do. In his book, “START WITH WHY,” Simon Sinek explains his Golden Circle of communicating from the inside out. Beginning with Why, moving out through our How, we deliver our What. Today, Millennials and Gen Z make-up more than half of our workforce. They are very committed to “why.” They grew up with fast-moving change and instability. Their relationship to work is very purpose-driven and socially connected. They care about social, culture, and work/life balance. Just as it was in my triathlon aspiration, their “why” fuels their commitment to achieve their (your?) goals.


Increase methods for feedback with the site-teams. Remind team members of all the opportunities for site-teams to submit questions, ask for advice and confirm their decisions.  Create video and pod-cast communication directly from the executives to inspire loyalty and reinforce commitment.



Momentum is defined as strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events. It helps people push through obstacles, solve problems and maintain their course. Today’s teams are facing new 2020 habits in a world that daily transforms our “normal.” Momentum keeps us from reverting back to old habits and maintaining the proper course.


Why do people fail? One single moment in time is rarely responsible for our failures. It’s thousands of little misguided choices that lead to hardship. We lose our focus in small decisions that compromise our standards and replace our success with excuses. Momentum keeps us focused on our goals.


During my swim workouts, I repeated a statement of affirmation in my mind as I swam, “The water holds me high and strong; I can do this all day long.” Then as I swam each stroke, I would say to myself, “I am a two-time triathlete.” 33 laps in a 25-meter pool, 2 times a week, for months. Unfortunately, nine days before the race, I was rushed to the emergency room in severe pain and diagnosed with Acute Diverticulitis. I was put on potent antibiotics to fight the infection, bed rest, and a liquid diet. My ten-day plan before the race was ambushed, and I was left wondering if I could even participate. I had dinner with some very influential friends who gave me permission to quit. “No one would expect me to race after this diagnosis so close to the race,” they said. I was physically weak from fighting the infection, and very unprepared, but I decided to continue with my race. I could not quit without at least attempting to reach my goal. For momentum, I organized all of my workout gear for the swim, bike, and 5K on my dining room table. Every day, the vision of my gear inspired me to race. My focus fueled my commitment.


Provide your team with printable visual affirmations and reminders of their goals. Practice remote team-building, connect remote teams with mentors and support to keep their momentum strong. Share industry hashtags: #multifamilystrong and create your own #ALLIN hashtags teams can share to maintain positive energy.


I look forward to national news stories of how essential apartment management teams provided a sense of community to help America. There has never been a better time than now for the principles of focus: vision, commitment, and momentum. This is our time to shine! As a 60-year old non-athletic woman weakened by infection I crossed my finish line, and it will be these valuable principles that help you cross your finish line, too!


Be sure to sign-up for the AAMD Virtual Seminar: Call to Action: The Three Principles of Focus presented by Toni Blake on May 19, 2020!

Sign-Up Here!

Toni Blake is a touring speaker with the Apartment All Stars and owner of She is celebrating over four decades in property management and is one of three living recipients of the Multi-family Industry Legend Award. Toni is a popular guest on industry radio and podcasts. She has served as MC for many of the top industry awards shows and featured as a speaker at the top industry local, state, and national conferences.