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The 4 critical shifts for success in the 21st Century

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

These days most leaders struggle to find time to focus; time to think things through. The background noise of news outlets combined with the relentless production of social media is creating a chronic sense of [ ‘Read more . . .‘] overwhelm and then there is the daily tsunami of email.

Leadership is all about making decisions and wise decision-making requires a combination of logic and intuition. We need to study the necessary data and acknowledge the subtle connections our brain can make by ‘reading between the lines’. However, I have recently spoken to many leaders who find it difficult to block ‘Thinking Time’ into their diary. It’s as if that would just be too weird and I hear them say “What if someone questions it?”. The funny thing is that they are usually the most senior person in the business or department! Who is actually going to question them? It is simply their own fears getting at them – it’s so easy to become addicted to the adrenalin rush of busyness and ticking something off the To-Do List. There is an underlying anxiety that they won’t be ‘productive’. The real questions for leaders are “What are you really paid to do? How can you add the most value?”

Stuck in doing

When a business is in start-up mode it is clear that the founders are ‘doing’ a lot, but once there is some positive cashflow the leaders need to delegate as much and as quickly as possible.  This frees up precious thinking time. There are far too many businesses that struggle to expand because the founders and leaders can’t let go and they stay stuck in the detail, missing strategic growth opportunities. This also happens a lot when Supervisors get promoted to Managers or Managers get promoted to Directors. They stay in their comfort zone of ‘doing’ because it is a very plausible excuse for not doing the really difficult bit – thinking and making wise decisions.

The more senior you become the more you need to think and effective thinking is a very delicate process that requires the development of new skills. The cacophony of information bombarding us makes it very difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Everything is urgent. Everything is a priority. So what is the solution?

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