June 21, 2012

Get down tonight

It's been quiet on the blogging front as I've been hyper-busy with a number of different initiatives. The net result has been long, frantic days, short time frames with lots of physical movement and not much down time for thinking.

I've also been part of a large-scale initiative to assess and coach 450 executives in a few months. It has been a massive undertaking and hats off to Hudson for what they pulled together in record time with extraordinary professionalism.

One of the common themes that's shown up in this initiative ironically mirrors my experience over the past month and highlights an urgent and critical challenge facing business and leadership today.  

We have no time to think.
 We are time-poor, overloaded and under-resourced. No one has a spare few million these days to provide the kind of support we all need and the impact is going to be felt pretty soon. No, it's not just the quality of your days. It's the ability to think creatively about long-term opportunities that enable you to maintain a competitive advantage.

Leaders are losing that critical down time they need to create long-term opportunities and put into place high-level strategic plans that translate into future results.

It's all immediate and urgent. 

This leads to reactionary thinking and lots of busy movement which puts your brain and body into a constant state of high-energy and stress. Your adrenaline flows and blood pumps to your arms and legs to support movement, but not thinking. Your focus narrows to the issues in front of you as you become impatient for quick fixes so you can move on to the next crisis. it's great for putting out the fires, but what about tomorrow?

Leaders, your greatest value to your team and organisation is your ability to think past the moment and dream. It gives you that opportunity to consider your people's needs and how to nurture their potential. It allows you to shift into a relaxed state that channels the blood to the brain, settles that internal chatter and lets the ideas flow. It's the reason why we come up with great ideas in the shower or loo and why we wake up at 3am with that thought we couldn't remember in the middle of the chaos of the day. The brain needs time to relax.

I'm not saying it's easy. However, if you think about the value of your time and mental energy - what's going to provide the biggest return to your company?

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