3 Times When Your Best Leadership Move Is To Stop

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The secret to sustainable, effective leadership is not only in knowing when to speed up, and when to slow down. More often you would think, sometimes it’s knowing when to stop.

Effective leadership sometimes requires reducing your pace to a complete stand-still.

The idea of intentionally grinding your leadership to a complete stop runs counter to how many leaders are wired. A simple Google search of “fast-paced leadership” produces an astonishing 117,000,000 hits, with articles such as, “7 behaviors of fast-paced, high quality leaders” and “The traits of leaders who do things fast and well.”

Of course, there are certainly times when speed-of-light leadership is in order. But for such leadership to last over the long-haul, there are also 3 times when you must simply stop; not slow down, but stop.

1. When you need to think deeply

Deep thinking lies at the core of effective leadership. As a leader, you must have the ability thoughtfully solve a problem, understand an issue, analyze a trend, and dream about the future.

Such thinking requires time. It requires being able to pause all other responsibilities and to sit quietly with your thoughts.

2. When you need to connect meaningfully

Leadership is about relationships. And building meaningful relationships requires an unhurried pace. It means putting down your phone. It means locking eyes with the person you’re talking with, and not darting your eyes around the room.

To build a meaningful connection, you must do more than slow down. You must stop.

3. When you need to replenish fully

As a leader, it is your responsibility to be as emotionally, physically, mentally and even spiritually nurtured as possible. This means carving out the time to refill your tank and replenish your mind, soul and body.

No one has ever replenished themselves traveling at the speed of light. For effective restoration, you must make the time to simply stop.

The pace of leadership in today’s fast-paced world can be overwhelming. We live in a world that seems to value the notion of busyness above all else, and which seems to look at burnout with a strange sense of almost admiration.

So learn when to run, when to walk, and when to stop.

Because sometimes the most necessary pace for your leadership is to be completely still.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

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