The Need to Get Quiet – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: February 2, 2019

Let’s face it, we live in a noisy world and it seems to grow noisier each day. Our “always on” smart phones provide a steady stream of information, we have access to an over-whelming amount of data points to inform key business decisions, and we have the efficiency of instantaneous emojis via social media to quickly assess the impact of key messages.

As senior executives and top talent look to leverage artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to efficiently sort through volumes of data, there remains a premium on the need for leaders to still make time to get quiet, with and without their teams, to assess near term plans and performance, and to assess the viability of their long-term strategy for the business.

Regardless of personality types and social styles of introverts vs extroverts, the need for quiet reflection to create the capacity to think, process information and make key decisions remains essential to improve leadership effectiveness. Today’s difficult business challenges are too complicated for the simple solutions of yesterday and by the way, those simple solutions have already been replaced with a computer algorithm. It is the tough business challenges that remain for leaders to solve.

Beyond the routine cadence of most companies that support standing meetings for business planning, performance assessment, financial updates, talent reviews etc., there is a need for leaders and teams to get quiet and think.

There are some well documented benefits at the individual and team level when leaders make time to get quiet to support solving complicated business challenges:

  • Healthy Mindset: Enabling time to get quiet to process information and decompress leads to a healthier mindset. Often the emotions of the moment inhibit clarifying the key issues at hand. Enabling time to get quiet can minimize overriding emotions in the moment.
  • Limits Pre-Judgment: The practical reality with teams working together over time is that there is a strong tendency to quickly pre-judge points of view on new information. Creating space to get quiet with new data points will help to minimize the momentum of pre-judging the new information that can keep blinders on most teams.
  • Reconnect with the Mission: Allowing time to get quiet prior to making major decisions enables leaders to reconnect with the mission of the business. Reinforcing team alignment around the mission is critical and in the heat of the moment, with an overwhelming amount of data to process, leaders and teams need to reconnect with the mission to ensure all decisions are well-aligned to the team’s ultimate direction.

Healthy and rigorous team engagement around key business challenges is critical to the survival of the business. However, most companies already have a good cadence of pre-set meetings to engage teams in rigorous debates on the issues. Senior executives and top talent need to be intentional about creating space to get quiet to improve critical decision making for themselves and their teams. Getting quiet in our noisy world will continue to be a struggle for leaders, but it is well worth the effort.

What if I were to ask you, “What is the most difficult leadership challenge you are facing today?”

What would you say?  Here are a few resources to help:

  1. Download FREE resources at www.harvesttimepartners.com
  2. Contact me. Email: david@harvesttimepartners.com (M) 269-370-9275

David Esposito

Young woman shouting through megaphone while having a meeting with her colleagues in the office.

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