Great leaders learn to combine their unwavering confidence with equally solid humility and selflessness. They know they are good but they don’t make an issue of it. They know they are not perfect but they don’t freak out about it. They know they know a lot, yet they are eager to learn from others. When things go wrong, they accept responsibility and are ready to show vulnerability. When things go well, they make sure the team is credited.

Do you genuinely want people around you to succeed in their job? Are you ready to help them advance in their careers? Are you willing to give them the advice they need? Are you prepared to spend time trying to understand them and their motivations?

I was stubborn. Now I am persistent. I was self-centric and self-serving. Now I value equality and mutual respect. I was a day dreamer. Now I can envision things and think creatively about strategy. CEOs are not born; they are made – by themselves and by people around them.

“Focus on contribution” has become a personal mantra that reminds me of my intention whenever I interact with another person: “What can we learn from each other from this shared experience? Do we leave being any smarter, wiser and kinder?”

Focus is not what you do, but what you choose not to do. Startup CEO Kristo Ovaska learned the hard way to say “No”. He now declines long meetings, non-vital emails, external press requests, speaking engagements, and investor contacts that are not yet needed. This has brought about an entirely new level of productiveness.

No matter what the vessel or who the skipper, to get to the destination you dream of, you need a sail and a rudder. You need a force that pushes the ship forward and you need a mechanism to point the ship in the desired direction. It is that easy, and that difficult. Find your force and find your direction. One day, your dreams will come true.

Focus is vital for success, but visionary entrepreneurs are easily distracted. Here are four ways to help you keep in focus: 1. Have someone remind you of priorities. 2. Think why you do each routine and what priority it belongs to. 3. Start your day with the most important and difficult tasks. 4. Make plans that help structure your work.