My own austerity measures & 5 timeless leadership lessons
I am planning to go on vacation end of this month and my time is running short, before I know it the days are gone and I am still left with a mountain of paperwork on my desk. So come today, I have decided on new austerity measures since time is proving to be my most precious & rare commodity
1. Anything irrelevant goes, that includes emails I don’t really have to read right now or respond to.
2. The to-do list needs an update, so I am scratching out the previous one and making a new one with all the “absolutely” must do tasks which need to be ticked off within a set deadline.
3. Delegate delegate delegate.
4. Get my desk clean – putting all my papers where they need to be, filed, archived, discarded.
5. I am tempted to put off blogging but I did promise myself to post as much new stuff as possible for my readers 🙂
Now I am off to close my outlook, put the phone on silent and just concentrate on one activity at a time.
Meanwhile, for additional reading check out the following article by Steve Tobak over at CBS Money Watch – Five Timeless Leadership Lesson.
Here are five timeless lessons I’ve excerpted. There’s a revelation or two, but there’s nothing like reading Heider’s book all the way through.
Knowing What Is Happening
When you cannot see what is happening in a group, do not stare harder. Relax and look gently with your inner eye.
When you do not understand what a person is saying, do not grasp for every word. Give up your efforts. Become silent inside and listen with your deepest self.
When you are puzzled by what you see or hear, do not strive to figure things out. Stand back for a moment and become calm. When a person is calm, complex events appear simple.
The more you can let go of trying, and the more open and receptive you become, the more easily you will know what is happening.
Stay in the present. The present is more available than either memories of the past or fantasies of the future.
Forget those clever techniques and self-improvement programs, and everyone will be better off.
No teacher can make you be happy, prosperous, healthy, or powerful. No rules or techniques can enforce these qualities.
Polarities, Paradoxes, and Puzzles
All behaviors contain their opposites:
– Hyper-inflation leads to collapse.
– A show of strength suggests insecurity.
– If you want to prosper, be generous.
– Water wears away rock.
– Spirit overcomes force.
– The weak will undo the mighty.
Learn to see things backwards, inside out, and upside down.
All the Answers
Nobody has all the answers. Knowing that you do not know everything is far wiser than thinking that you know a lot when you really don’t. Probably every leader has tried this form of pretense at one time or another.
The wise leader has learned how painful it is to fake knowledge. Being wise and not wanting to bear that pain, the leader does not indulge in pretending. It is a relief to be able to say: “I don’t know.”
It is more important to tell the simple, blunt truth than it is to say things that sound good. It is more important to act on behalf of everyone than it is to win arguments. It is more important to react wisely to what is happening than it is to be able to explain everything in terms of certain theories.
The wise leader is not collecting a string of successes. The wise leader knows that the reward for doing the work arises naturally out of the work.
And here’s a bonus lesson that is eerily predictive of our gadget-crazed, always on, instant gratification culture. Keep in mind, it was written more than 25 years ago and adapted from Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, c. 6th century BC.
Time for Reflection
Endless drama clouds consciousness. Too much noise overwhelms the senses. Continual input obscures genuine insight. Do not substitute sensationalism for learning.
Allow regular time for silent reflection. Turn inward and digest what has happened. Let the senses rest and grow still.
Teach people to let go of their superficial mental chatter and obsessions.
When group members have time to reflect, they can see more clearly what is essential in themselves and others.