Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass
on a summer day listening to the murmur of water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is hardly a waste of time.
A new leadership tool is at hand this week. It’s summertime.
Despite the on-going demands of this challenging economy, things are just different. There’s less traffic on the road in the mornings. Less people in the office because of vacations. Everyone knows you have to get major deals closed by mid-July because key decision-makers will be hard to assemble until after Labor Day. Inevitably there’s more recreation and leisure in your schedule.
All this presents Leaders with opportunities to “shift with the season” — to experiment, create, learn, reboot. And when Labor Day gets here (80 days and counting), you can decide to stop or continue. Will you take advantage of it?
What a great time to try out something you’ve been wanting to get to but haven’t allowed yourself.
Where to start? Think about something in one of these areas that affect your leadership:
Intellectual. It’s an established fact that the best business ideas are hatched somewhere other than where the business is. Get outside the four walls, literally or figuratively. Read a book you’ve heard about. Try out some new magazines. Have lunch with someone who is brilliant in a field other than yours. Go outside, sit in a quiet place and see how long it takes for your mind to come to rest.
Emotional. Life is about more than bright ideas leading your company. Pick someone close to you, a child, a spouse, a friend and invest some intentional time with them. Have an authentic conversation with a trusted friend. Spend some time listing all the things you’re thankful for. Write down one word describing your dominant emotion each day.
Physical. Your physical state has a tremendous impact on your presence as a Leader. Play more of a sport you love. Try out a new form of recreation. Change your workout routine. Find a peaceful place to walk for an hour. Eliminate one bad food for a month.
You’re the best one to figure out how you want to grow or replenish as a Leader this season.
Let’s inventory a list of reasons to ignore this summertime. Which ones apply to you?
- “Our company is struggling so much in this tough economy, I can’t leave.”
- “I need to keep setting the example — first in, last to go home.”
- “All my directs are taking vacations, I need to stay and hold down the fort.”
Stay stuck in the same old ways of doing things and your results will do likewise.
Three final thoughts to help you launch . . .
- Give yourself permission. Leaders can get stuck in the guilt-inducing should’s and ought-to’s. You’re calling the shots. Lead yourself. This is part of replenishing and growing to lead at your best.
- Be intentional. Get it on your calendar. Tell someone else you’re doing it.
- Keep it fun. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. This is about play, not work.
You have 80 days left.
I’m interested to hear what you’re going to do.