The purpose of this phenomenological study was to research and report how highly accomplished elementary school principals in a large school district interpreted and enacted a district’s instructional focus statement. The critical incident technique was used to interview four highly accomplished principals five times in semi-structured interviews over a 10-week period. The interviews were designed to capture the lived experiences of the four principals to identify leadership moves associated with how they enacted the instructional focus statement at their school sites. The researcher also sought to understand whether or not principals believed central office leaders either helped or hindered their ability to enact the district’s instructional focus. Principals in this study shared a common interpretation of the district’s instructional focus, including a direct focus on particular target groups, such as English learners, students with disabilities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and foster youth. Other common findings included high value on learning research based instructional strategies to improve instruction, cohesion and consistency of professional learning provided by the district, the development of instructional leadership capacity among teachers and other leaders they work with, as well as the organizational structure of the district. It was learned that principals found central office leaders to be valuable resources that supported their ability to enact the instructional focus statement at their school sites. Implications for this study suggest that a district-wide instructional focus statement is a valuable instrument for large school districts to build leadership capacity and drive systematic improvement of teaching and learning in classrooms.