Bruce Springsteen’s cracking new album, The Promise, is actually quite old. In fact it’s 30 years old. It transpires that the album comprises some of the 60-odd songs that Springsteen wrote for his 1978 classic LP (back in the days when we still had them), Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

The songs on The Promise are great. The only reason they didn’t make the cut on the Darkness LP was that they didn’t quite fit the mood of it.

Springsteen’s approach to focus and ruthless editing was amplified for me earlier this week as I read a report about Steve Jobs’ unfortunate illness. One of his former employees was quoted as saying, “Steve will look at new product prototypes and say to the team, ‘We have 15 great ideas, but do you know what, we’re only going to do these three.’”

The focus that Jobs and Springsteen bring to their work helps them create breakthrough performance. Where could you be bringing discipline and focus to your work to deliver radically better results?

© Stuart Cross 2011. All rights reserved.