As the world speeds up, challenges increase and transitions become inevitable. Investing the time to slow down, think, and process becomes even more critical. Often, the greatest roadblock to doing this is our own bad habits and insecurities.
Currently, I am working with multiple teams in a diverse set of industries that are all experiencing earth- shattering shifts. These shifts range from universal hiring shortages to extreme and diverse competitive pressures, to geopolitical and regulatory labyrinths and supply chain nightmares. We are likely to see more industry consolidation and mass business extinction events over the next few years than we have ever seen before.
None of these challenges are likely to be solved by working harder.
The reality is that if you are facing these challenges (and virtually all business leaders are, in some form), they will not be solved by working harder. In fact, if that is your default mode, you may work yourself right off the end of the cliff with the other business lemmings, never realizing what is happening until it is too late.
It is very likely many will experience this.
The good news is that with great disruption comes great opportunity. Keeping this in mind, I believe it has never been more important to take clarity time for your personal benefit, as well as for the benefit of the organization. This downtime/clarity time/sanity time/thinking time will be where innovation is conceived and where problems are truly solved.
Lately, I have been trying to grow this habit (candidly, I still have some head trash around it). Intellectually speaking, I 100% believe in this concept…but I do occasionally experience a bit of guilt around taking some downtime. That guilt isn’t productive, so I acknowledge it then let it go. The exciting news is that a couple of big wins were generated during my recent slower/clarity time – and like it! It is similar to changing your diet and getting on the scale after a week and seeing positive results. I am hooked again, and I know it will pay massive dividends in the future.
Here is my challenge to you: Can you – whether alone or with your entire leadership team –invest in clarity time? If you are not doing it, pledge to start for one hour a week. If you are already practicing it, are you able to up that investment to 30 minutes a day? What can you commit to for one month? How can you track it? When will you start?
If you accept this challenge, please let me know how it goes. Sometimes, it feels like there is a need to put your head down and just keep swinging…I don’t think this is one of those times. I believe it is best to step back, breathe, put your head in the clouds, and see where it takes you.