New York Times best-selling author Gary Keller says that the secret of every successful person is his or her “ONE Thing”.

The ONE Thing is the ability to focus or concentrate on the specific thing that lies between the individual and his or her goals. This one thing is the very factor that enables a person to hit the bull’s eye in every situation.

The secret lies in this expression: “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” This is what Keller calls the Focusing Question that effectively pushes his own real estate business up from one level to another.

To make his point clear, he illustrates this strategy in showing how his company applied it in their step by step ascent to success.

Their first one thing was to think big and recruit people. The people were taught how to generate and be productive. The result was, in three years they got results and became the 10th largest real estate company in their city.

However, they were met with a challenge that they needed to reinvent themselves or else fall out of business. Thus, they sought for the one thing that could they can do to help their associates generate the most amount of money such that everything else they might do will either be easier or unnecessary. After much research and evaluation, the answer was adding a profit sharing program to their compensation plan. In a year’s time, they became the largest residential real estate company in their city.

The story did not stop there, though. Then goes the domino effect of asking the Focusing Question from time to time; such that they were able to make major decisions such as: in order to validate their profit share, they open their books to let their associates see the financials or simply go transparent; to encourage their associates to influence their financials once they read them, they form leadership councils at different levels to empower them with decision making rights; to help everyone in the company work together to achieve more individually and collectively, they develop the right culture; and in order to communicate and deliver their value proposition, they adopt technology.

According to Keller, the Focusing Question has the power to take you where you need to go even when you don’t know you need to go there at all in the first place. This question they made repeatedly through the stages of their business development was able to generate the big answers to the company’s challenges. It shaped their biggest decisions and kindled the growth in their business through all those 30 years.

The Focusing Question can be considered as one of the most effective tools in business; however, by simply formulating it, one has to go through rigorous research and analysis. Once the question is asked, it will take another thorough study and critical thinking to come up with the best result or ONE Thing.

So what is your “ONE Thing” for today?

“Murray Priestley has 25 years of commercial and asset management experience having served in board, CEO and senior executive positions with a number of global public and private companies.”