Exactly a hundred years ago, Albert Einstein revolutionized the way scientists think about space and time, revealing that they are more flexible than we think. So if time is flexible, can we slow things down? How can we create more time and spaciousness for ourselves, when our crazy busy way of life mitigates against this?
Instead of the 150 mph rush, which in the end leaves us exhausted and unfulfilled, why not make a conscious decision to just SLOW down? The stress, swirl and strife that hurt performance and fuel conflict in the workplace could be tempered by a simple shift in pace. Paradoxically, going SLOW can actually make you more productive and creative, and able to achieve more with less struggle. Read more
Clients in my leadership coaching practice have asked me: “Which business or political leaders should I model myself on so I can develop myself more fully as a leader? What should I read?”
The answer is a complex one. There are hundreds of inspiring and admirable leaders, from today and throughout the ages, from whom we can learn valuable lessons. And there are dozens of books, articles and blogs (such as this one!) written by eminent academics, former practitioners and self-proclaimed experts, offering tips, tools, philosophies and programs to enhance the effectiveness, productivity and performance of leaders.
In recent weeks, I have been working with many clients on creating a personal and professional development plan, which will help them focus their time and efforts, and achieve improvements in some of the following areas that are critical to leadership and career effectiveness.
– how to increase productivity, and achieve more with less time, stress and struggle
– how to increase interpersonal effectiveness, which includes managing up, down and laterally, influencing others when they may or may not have direct authority, and generally getting the best from other people
– how to build a personal brand, and manage or shift other people’s perceptions of them
– how to manage a career, and gain advancement and satisfaction from their work.
You, too, can create a plan for yourself by following some simple steps. Read more
There are some transitions we seek out and others that are thrust upon us. In many cases, they are tougher than we could have anticipated. There is always some loss, despite the opening of new possibilities, so how to manage those times with more equanimity and ease?
Here are some suggestions:
1) Read William Bridges’ seminal book Transitions. He reminds us that it is normal to feel disoriented and down when we have lost the familiar, and that there are recognizable phases that we go through before we get to the other side. That “neutral” middle phase is probably the most uncomfortable, because you have to let go of something, but have not yet embodied or acclimatized to the new.
2) Establish pleasant and pleasurable rituals. While you sit in that neutral zone, trying to make sense of things or to re-orient yourself in a new direction, you can exercise choice over certain aspects of your day. There is a comfort in routine and the added benefit of developing life-long positive habits through repetition. Self-care practices – new eating habits, a new exercise regime, taking time for relaxation or meditation –(I almost typed medication, oops!) –or developing a long-yearned for new skill or hobby– are perfect examples. Read more
It’s summer time here in the northern hemisphere. An ideal time for rest and relaxation, days at the beach, ice-cream, and outdoor activities, but alas many of us are unable to take time out and get off the treadmill of work, stress and pressure. Why is it so hard to decompress, de-stress and just tune out for a while? And where are the demands of the crazy busy life-style leading us?
We equate being busy with being important and indispensible. Our to-do lists never end. We make ourselves available 24/7. But do we really have to do all that stuff? Is it essential that we always be on call? Are others incapable of making decisions without us – or have we just trained them to be that way? Read more