Sometimes we need to react fast, automatically. For example, as we see a large truck speeding towards us as we are standing in the edge of the street waiting for a traffic light to change. Or, as we observe the subtle cues of a very dissatisfied client. And, at a different time, we may find ourselves totally engrossed in the deep work1 of a seemingly intractable problem. And, then our thoughts and actions need to proceed at a slower pace.
… “If you have a brain, you’re biased.”1
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines bias as a “personal opinion that influences your judgment.” We all have such personal opinions.
… my team is a safe place for interpersonal risk taking
Early this decade Google was focused on building the perfect team. Even earlier, the company had endeavored to capture large quantities of data about employees and how they worked. They knew, for example, how frequently particular people ate together (more productive people had larger networks of dining partners) and were able to identify key traits shared by the very best managers (good communication and avoidance of micromanaging).
… the practice of being alone with your thoughts
When we think of solitude, if indeed we ever turn to that subject, we may be apprehensive and cringe at the thought of being alone and the silence that implies. Researchers have noted that most people would prefer to do just about anything rather than be left alone with their thoughts.
… you (we all) need one
Marty Jordan, human resources consultant at Linkage, Inc., tells us that “we are a society obsessed with activity and view inactivity as being lazy.” She goes on to note that “We’re conditioned to be overworked and to believe that if, at any point, we aren’t doing something that resembles ‘work,’ we’re not productive.”
At least with my family, preparation for Thanksgiving dinner began several weeks ago as decisions were made about where we would gather and who would prepare and bring what food to share. It’s always a wonderful time to get as many family members as can come together to express our thanks for another year and for the support of each other.
Your Most Precious Resource
Each of us has 24 hours each day and 168 hours each week for work and everything else – commuting, eating lunch, taking breaks during our work, organized activities including time with family and friends, exercise, religious activities, team sports, play, rest, and sleep, etc. And, no matter how hard we try, there is no way to manufacture more hours.
I’ve written before on grit (see here), about having stamina, about sticking with what you’ve chosen or been led to do, your future, day in, day out, not just for a week, nor for a month, but for years, working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is a marathon, not a sprint. To succeed, leaders have to have grit in abundance.
Last week, during the closing session’s CIO Panel at one of the MOR Leaders Programs, every CIO on the panel commented on the importance of trust. Earlier in the session in a similar vein, I had noted that followers want leaders who are credible, trustworthy, leaders who do what they say they will do. Max De Pree, the former CEO of Herman Miller Inc., wrote in his book Leadership Jazz: “Followers cannot afford leaders who make casual promises; someone may take them seriously!”