Doing Less, Thinking More, Leading with Greater Impact

by Jesse Lahey on April 17, 2013

Recently, I was struck by a similar emphasis from three different thought leaders.

asian businessman

Leadership is about the courage and discipline to think things through for ourselves and the moral courage to stand up for what we believe to be right. Self-knowledge can only be gained through introspection, frequently in solitude. Reading books rather than email, for reflection as much as conversation, and for as much solitude and focus as it takes to discover who we are and what we will stand for.
~ Terry Pearce, from Leading Out Loud: A Guide for Engaging Others in Creating the Future

Many of us work in organizations and cultures where there is a bias to action and “doing things” continuously. Sadly, taking time to think is becoming a lost art – yet many of us benefit from it tremendously when we take the time to do it.
~ Dave Stachowiak, from Seven Ways To Stop And Think

Humans, it is said, are the only animals that speed up when lost.
~ John Busacker, from Fully Engaged: How to Do Less and BE More

Do you need to slow down, stop trying to do so much, and spend more time thinking and reflecting? Perhaps if we all did this, we would be have greater impact with the actions we do take.

Jesse Lahey, SPHR, is the host of the Engaging Leader podcast and the managing principal of Aspendale Communications. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.

  • Jesse, thanks for the mention. I’m a big believer in stopping and thinking – and need to remind myself to do this even more often. Always a daily challenge with everything coming at us these days. Thank you for the reminder as well! Glad others are thinking about this too…

    • Dave, I agree with you … it’s a challenge, but most of the big advances for me, my family, and my team have been the result of ideas or decisions that came from reflective moments, either completely solitary or in an off-site small-group discussion. There never seems to be a good time, and yet as leaders we need to make the time in annual, quarterly, weekly, and daily chunks.

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