We became leaders because we were good doers (usually). When we’re stressed, like when a project is behind, we tend to revert to what we know best. We do.
We do, even though we know we’re the one who should be thinking more than doing.
|Roll your sleeves down!|
We frequently hear the advice – roll your sleeves up and just get the job done. However, as a leader it’s important to metaphorically roll your sleeves down. Plan the work. Think it through. Assign the work. Foster the resulting growth in the business and most importantly the people.
Without thinking time supported by field work that helps you know the truth, you diminish your most important value as a leader – the ability to anticipate.
Thinking time allows you to see the whole picture, to get out of the busYness to see with more clarity.
Your doing should take the form of gathering others insights and sharing your insights in order to ensure your organization is as smart as possible and your people are as equipped as possible. This is an enormous task that takes time. Lots of it. But, you can’t do the stuff of leadership without thinking.
Carve out thinking time each day on your calendar. This is your most important meeting of the day. Think of this time as sacred. It shouldn’t be canceled or rescheduled.
Think about all that’s going on. Use the quiet to search for insights and perspectives not visible in the heat of the moment. Think through problems. Visualize solutions. List questions. Draft action items. Communicate results.
There are many different ways to do this thinking. My suggestion above of quiet time alone may not fit your style. Maybe you benefit from a collaborative setting. No problem, as long as you’re thinking.
Photo credit: Brian Hillegas