Friday, November 28, 2014

November Book Review: Finding the Space to Lead

I went on a personal retreat of sorts back around Labor Day and the effects have worn off. Ugh.

It was one of the most inspiring, pensive, and soul searching experiences I have had, which is sad because it was only going away for a few days with the intention of being quiet and thinking. Sad because I had to go away to do that and sad that it took mountains, blue skies, and solitude to make it happen. Sad because it's the first time I have ever gone away on my own. Sad because I so wanted to stay and be a hermit (if only I could have my kids too…they really are cute and fun).

Anyway, the effects have worn off. Yep, gone. I was writing in a journal all day, taking deep breaths, not checking my phone, eating well, sleeping long, working out like those crazy cross fit folks. Not so much now. Get me a cheeseburger and hold the veggies. I have a sneaky suspicion that I am not alone. 

One of our biggest challenges is to find the space to be mindful and pay attention to what is actually going on in front of us without having to spend all the money to find some remote mountain top to do so. I've been following Janice Marturano on Twitter for some time now and really resonate with her thoughts on this subject especially as it resonates around leadership. How do leaders find the space to be mindful? When so much needs to be done, when time is going by faster and faster (how is it Thanksgiving already!), when technology seems to be adding to it instead of helping it, what are we to do?

I recommend you read Janice's book, Finding the Space to Lead, and I recommend you do one thing to help if you remotely feel the same. Take a walk over the holidays. Take a couple of them. Put on the big coat that isn't fashionable and get outside. Janice spends a whole chapter talking about doing just this. I'm not talking about a power walk, I'm talking about a "I've got no place to be any time soon" sort of walk. The holidays can be hectic and the urge to phone it in until January 2nd is strong.  

I also recommend you build an Adirondack chair. OK, maybe buy it. Then place it outside and sit in it. Leave the phone inside. Sit until your butt goes numb and let the mind unwind. A glass of wine has helped me, but it could be cup of tea as well. I've got to get back to that "mountain top" some way. I guess recognizing the problem is the first step, huh? 

In fact, I'm sure it is. Wishing you a mindful holiday season. You will be a better leader for it. You will be a better person for it. 

Now where is that journal of mine…


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