It’s a really strange time right now—kind of like a whipsaw—due to the chaos and massive cuts companies endured to survive in 2008 and ‘09 and then some relatively good growth in 2010 and ‘11 on the same amount of reduced resources. Leaders are in a frenzy right now due to the lack of capacity and certainty.
There’s a lot of confusion, feelings of being overwhelmed, and lack of clarity, and I’m strongly convinced that there is a remedy for a leader who is feeling this way. It is a very uncommon solution, largely because it isn’t tangible, practical, or measurable.
The best way to describe it is to use an analogy someone recently gave me: Imagine holding a small clear plastic jar with a lid on it in your hand. In the jar is water and a little bit of dirt (this is not the Covey/Rocks illustration). Now imagine shaking it endlessly.
What does it look like inside? Murky, unclear, dim, foggy, dark, and gloomy—the way you might be feeling.
If you set the jar down for a few minutes, the dirt settles and it becomes crystal clear, lucid, and transparent—the way you should be feeling.
It’s called being still. When you get still, you gain clarity, just like the jar. When you run hard all day, every day, things get murky. I call it a “clarity break.” Another way of looking at it is the old proverb, “When you go slow, you go fast.”
It might seem foreign or unproductive to you. Just try it. Find a quiet place, and keep a legal pad and pen handy.
Do it today.