This month’s post was inspired by a blog from one of my favorite mentors in the consulting world, Alan Weiss. This short excerpt sets the stage and my thoughts follow:
An asteroid three times the size of the Empire State Building shot by the Earth last week, “only” three million miles away and traveling 30,000 mph. In terms of space, that’s a “near miss.”
It might have been an “extinction event” had it decided to drop in. We know very little about our chances of survival in a universe we generally fool ourselves about understanding. I’m fond of pointing out that we’re living on a huge rock traveling at 80,000 miles an hour around an exploding star.
Please don’t tell me you don’t have faith.
I learned long ago to live while I’m here, in the moment, not for some future that may or may not eventuate here.
The dinosaurs never saw that meteor coming, and they were at the top of the food chain. If the space junk hadn’t hit the Yucatán, we’d all be reptiles today. We saw this asteroid coming fairly late and were as powerless to influence its path as were the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period.
Have a great day today. There’s absolutely no reason not to. Who knows what happens tomorrow?
Full original post: https://alanweiss.com/alan-weisss-monday-morning-memo-02-17-2020/
“The hurrier I do, the behinder I get”
My grandmother had that saying on a plaque on her wall when I was growing up. As an adult, I totally understood it – the more I have to do, the faster I spin, and the more balls I drop, so in the end I’m more behind than when I began.
I’ve learned that the most powerful tool for getting stuff done is, ironically, slowing down or stopping for a moment. In the stillness, all the muck I’ve stirred up with my activity begins to settle, and in the clear water I can see what really needs done.
This shows up in every domain of my work:
When I’m coaching, the slower I go, the more I notice. When I invite the client to also slow down, they invariably experience more clarity.
What’s the number one leadership breakdown? Many argue that it’s a failure to actually listen. The case also gets made for failure to appreciate good performance and create positive engagement. Slowing down addresses both breakdowns.
When you intentionally sit back and slow down your conversations, you pick up more nuances – you become a better listener because you notice a lot more when you’re cruising at 25 kilometers/hour versus when you’re racing by at 100 kph!
And when you let go of rushing for just a moment, it becomes easier to “justify” the time to just chat with your team members and give attention to the great stuff they are doing, instead of only speaking to them when the building’s on fire.
Many emotions thrive in a fast-moving body: enthusiasm, excitement, ambition, and perseverance, for example. But not so much happiness. Happiness is about the pause to savor. Happiness is when you’re sitting still and feel like saying, “Ahhh. This is nice.” If you never slow down, happiness is an emotion you constantly drive by without enjoying.
How Do You Slow Down?
Let’s keep it simple.
Stop moving, for a moment.
Sit back, feet on the ground, and let your spine rest against the back of your chair.
Breathe. Breathe on purpose. Make it a DEEP breath.
Just be there. Listen. Attend. Give your attention to Just. One. Thing
OK, you can go back to rushing, now. But wasn’t it nice to slow down for a minute?
Maybe you can do it again tomorrow. You’re welcome.
Remember, Leadership is not about a title; anyone can be a Leader who knows how to slow down and appreciate the space of listening and creativity.