Can you believe that it’s the end of January already? I was telling a dear friend of mine in an email not long ago that I feel as if I’m on a run-away train lately. So much going on! So many balls in the air! I’ve been so focused on knockin’ things off the list that I’ve stopped consciously choosing what I’m doing.
It occurred to me recently, during a moment of total desk-chaos, that I perhaps I need to stop and evaluate what I’m actually knockin’ off the list. The right things, or am I simply busy being busy? I know it makes logical sense to step back, but just thinking about stopping is overwhelming. If I stop – really stop – will all the balls I’ve been working so hard to keep up in the air come tumbling down around my ankles?
And what about the way I’m knockin’ them off the list? Perhaps I’ve got the right balls whirling about my atmosphere, but am I going about this whole process as effectively as I could?
Running a small business is a bear, there’s no doubt. But leaders within large organizations face the same challenges. We’re all faced with doing more with less time, fewer resources, and higher stakes. It’s stressful business, this business of doing business. We get so focused on delivering short-term results that it’s easy to lose site of the big picture. It’s hard to identify if what we’re doing and how we’re doing it is working, when we’re standing in the eye of the tornado. Sometimes we have to step back and just…stop.
So that’s what I’m up to these days. Stepping Back. Evaluating. Is what I’m doing and how I’m doing it allowing me to make the impact I want to make?
Warren Bennis, in his book On Becoming a Leader, once said: “By examining and understanding the past, we can move into the future unencumbered by it. We become free to express ourselves, rather than endlessly trying to prove ourselves.”
Is what you were doing in 2010 going to have the impact you want to have in 2011? Is how you’ve been going about business, how you’ve been communicating, how you’ve been showing up, going to have the impact you want to have? Perhaps by “examining and understanding” our what’s and how’s of last year, we can better express ourselves in our work this year.
What is the impact you want to have as a leader?
Maybe it’s time to stop and think about it.
©OnStage Leadership, 2011
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