Common features of a leader include vision, communication, inspiration, integrity, etc. However, these alone are not enough to ensure your effectiveness as a leader. With leadership comes many challenges – certain circumstances may seem overwhelming, these “pills” will help keep you going…
The recommended supplement of Stillness, Silence and Solitude when imbibed will help you with assessing situations and absorbing information through the challenges that may arise, as you go higher due to increased pressure, noise and demands.
These 3 following capsules aids in the prevention of degenerative diseases that can curtail your leadership life span, as well as creates an environment conducive for peak performance.
1) Stillness – cures unbridled enthusiasm
When was the last time you stopped? Paused…No meetings, no phone ringing, just stillness. Stillness allows for information to be absorbed and will give you a chance to focus. The competition may be steep and the market ever evolving, but effective leaders know they have to get it together and focus. “A wise woodcutter indeed is he who rather than constantly chopping wood will occasionally stop to sharpen his axe.”Leaders that can appreciate the value of stillness can move forward and sustain momentum after pausing.
“I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think. So I do more reading and thinking, and make less impulse decisions than most people in business.” -Warren Buffet
During Amazon’s early years, Jeff Bezos founder and CEO made many mistakes. In 1998 he ventured into the toy market (spent $120 million) which proved unsuccessful. In the same year, he started Amazon Auctions (spent $175 million). This was a bigger failure than the toys investment. Another 1998 purchase was Junglee (spent $170 million) which also failed. Bezos dreamed of Amazon selling everything in the world and went on a huge shopping spree in 1998 and 1999 acquiring and investing in number of companies and almost all of them failed. He had close to a billion dollars in failures. However, by 2000 he paused acquisitions and focused on the company’s core business model and was able to make better decisions.
2) Silence – cures foot in the mouth disease
Silence may be divided between saying nothing and wisely picking your words. Emily Dickinson said, “Saying nothing…sometimes says the most.” Silence can be a powerful tool. Think before you speak. Today many leaders talk far too much and listen too little, when it should be the other way around. The words you speak to your employees and to the watching world defines you. With technology and social media you can’t even utter anything in secret. Your words will be cast in stone. Furthermore, a lot of people are so sensitive today, that a simple joke can land you in hot water. Additionally, there are those who are just waiting to twist everything you say.
Silence is especially important:
- Negotiations are going nowhere. Silence can be an effective tool to stop the conversation and get everyone to reflect on what is happening.
- When you or some else is angry – Silence allows for emotions to settle.
- When you want to learn more. The best way to learn information is to stop talking and listen.
Silence is awkward for most people. They instinctively want to fill in the blank space.
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” -Mark Twain
When it comes to a company’s reputation, sometimes top executives are their own worst enemy. Lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson set the web on fire with his distasteful comments on customers’ thighs during an appearance on Bloomberg’s Street Smart. Abbey Klaassen, executive editor of Advertising Age, said Lululemon’s brand has been damaged. “He insulted his customers, which is a big problem.” After Wilson’s remarks, the company’s share prices plummeted nearly four percent and the company had to readjust sales expectations. His apology came three days after the television interview but did little to soothe the damage that had already been done.
I’ve learned that one should keep his wordsboth soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them” – Andy Rooney
3) Solitude – cures chronic burnout
Taking time for yourself is crucial to leadership. While leadership is about execution, getting things done, and action it also requires time to pause and reflect. Solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. It’s a time of rest, peace, strengthening and refreshment. Distancing oneself from the distractions and taking the time to listen to your thoughts is the path to wisdom.
The best thinking has been done in solitude.” ~ Thomas Edison
Your effectiveness and maybe even your longevity as a leader depended directly on finding and establishing regular periods of solitude. William Deresiewicz posits that our tech-saturated lives lead to too much multitasking, when we really need to spend time working through our questions and doubts and formulating our own ideas away from the cacophony of voices we’re surrounded with.
We all have genetic weaknesses, including higher needs of some nutrients, higher rates of depletion for certain nutrients, and an increased likelihood of genetic expression of some illnesses if vitamin or mineral deficiencies are present. These supplements enrich the body’s internal environment to support repair, regeneration and the renewal process.
However, overdosing on any of these 3 pills will have detrimental side effects. Discernment is key. It’s important to know the prescribed doses to apply in any given scenario.
Culled from LinkedIn Pulse
Written by Bridget Hyacinth