All Leaders Are in a Hurry!
Why Are We In Such a Hurry?
Part of being a leader is that he or she is always forwarding… looking ahead!
Leaders take a look at something, and see what it “could be,” “should be,” or all of what lies ahead. They are futurists. That typically serves them well, and is one of the keys that those who are in their tribes depend on. I know. I do it all the time.
Where it get’s people like us in trouble is when it comes to dealing with ourselves. It often does not allow us to stay in the present, and experience all of what God is at work doing. I have often found myself restless and even agitated by what is not occurring, as opposed to enjoying what is occurring.
Please… someone tell me I am not alone in all of this! Case in point… taking time to replenish and get a break.
When away… do you find yourself preoccupied by what you will have to do when you get back, or how many days left on a vacation? Or do you stay in the moment… enjoy what is occurring, and are able to stop counting the days until your return?
The struggle with most leaders is that their brain does not turn off. It loves to keep moving, and often gets its greatest excitement with the new, the different, and the “cutting edge.”
But the soul needs to linger. It needs to know that it (and we) can stop, enjoy, experience, and even savor life. When I/we run so fast, and are always focused on what’s ahead, a sadness often set in, deep within. Deep inside we want to (and need to) experience life… but our brain pushes us to run ahead and keep working.
It’s as if we live a reluctant life. We know we should stop… but can’t, and don’t. In fact, most leaders cannot truly rest. And that is a recipe for burnout!
Some of the leaders that I caoch tell me… “But I don’t know what to do with myself when I stop!”
“Terry, I have to be doing something, or else I will go crazy! Please don’t start in about tell me about solitude and journaling.”
I get it when they tell me that… especially the driver-types, yet that is exactly why all of us need to actually force ourselves to stop; to cease striving and know that He is God.
That forced breath… the stopping makes us far better leaders when the call to charge is needed. Not simply because we are rested, but because during the pause moments we are reminded (again) what they are fighting for… for people… for life as our creator designed it. The life He has created each of us to know and enjoy in Him.
Hear are three things I am doing that are helping me to counteract the hurry when I stop:
1. Take on the discipline of “freeze-frame.” Discipline your self-talk and your behavior to say things that re-enforce the life the life all around you… “Did you see that!” “Are you feeling that sunshine, today?” “Is that child’s giggle cool, or what!” “That is a good meal with some good friends.”
2. Every time I find myself wandering back to the work… or thinking about what’s waiting for me back at the office… I try to think about replacement activity… like fictional reading, taking that walk I know I should take, coffee with a family member or friend, working outside, or even blogging like I am doing right now, overlooking the ocean (P.S. I just took the blog picture I am using for this post)
3. Invest in life together/community… Take time to just sit or be with someone else (friend, fellow-traveler, spouse, etc.) who likes to be present and just enjoy the moment; someone who does not have to always be doing something. Robin (my wife) is such a good mentor for me in this area.
© Terry Walling 2014