Are you suffering from BSOS?


Have you heard of this plague that is sweeping across the world?

It has affected a lot of people so much that they instantly lose focus on what they are supposed to do, and focus on things that are more interesting.


Here’s a quick check whether you are suffering from BSOS. Aka Bright Shining Object Syndrome.

  1. Are you constantly attracted by new sexy ideas?

  2. Do you constantly do new things without finishing the older tasks at hand?

The chances are this is already affecting a lot of people. In fact, this term is used on people or organisations that cannot formulate a strategy and be intentional in adhering to it. They literally get distracted constantly.

On the company level, you can probably see that the leadership gets excited about new ‘revolutionary strategies’ and sometimes forget what made them successful. They look for new products and services that they can ventured into, while forgetting what is their core business and what brought them to where they are today.

Sometimes, they are better off focusing on what they are good at and improving it, rather than trying every little new thing.

In my work with organisations, I have seen quite a few leaders who are just not focused in what they do. They have tremendous energy but it is dispersed in doing too many new things and not on what really matters.

One leader has even told me, when he gets inspiration, his people get perspiration. This means that his staff has to try out new things just because their boss has ideas.

There is a difference between innovating new ways and BSOS, one focuses on delivering better value for clients while the other just takes up your time, effort and money. BSOS just makes you feel tired and frustrated, without feeling that any significant work has been done.

There is a huge difference between ideas and implementation as well. If you think about it, a good leader is not one who conceptualizes ideas, it is the one who actually turns it into reality.

How do we prevent ourselves from falling trap to chasing bright shiny objects?

Here are some questions that help you back on track:

  1. How does doing this add value to our work/service?

  2. What is its real value?

  3. Do we really need to do it now? If I don’t do it, will it affect my work/business?

  4. Do I have the resources like time, money and people to finish this well?

  5. Do I need this new distraction?


If you said No to more than 3, then you know you can put this new idea/project aside.

It is time to stock take on the way you do things and how you finish them. Examine yourself that you do not fall prey to the bight shiny object syndrome.