Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Scientist Edward O. Wilson on the unification of knowledge:

“The ongoing fragmentation of knowledge and resulting chaos in philosophy are not reflections of the real world but artifacts of scholarship.”

Source: Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

II.

The late professor and writer David Foster Wallace on focus:

“Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”

Source: This is Water

* * *

Look for these ideas every Thursday on the Leading Blog. Find more ideas on the LeadingThoughts index.

* * * Like us on Instagram and Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.

 

Explore More

Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Read more: leadershipnow.com

Time Smart

TECHNOLOGY was supposed to give us more leisure time, but instead, it distracts us. We are pulled out of the present and into lists of things we feel we should be doing. Instead of getting time away from work, we take our work with us. It’s a trap to make us feel time poor.

Time Smart by Ashley Whillans helps us to move from time poverty to time affluence. The key is how we think about time and money.

Would you rather have less money and more time or work more for more money and have less time? We tend to overvalue money and undervalue time. Because we tend to spend as little money as possible, we rarely think of trading money for time. We make trade-offs between time and money all of the time. “All of these decisions powerfully shape the happiness we derive from moments, from days, from our entire lives.”

Whillans identifies six traps that make us time poor. That is too many things to do and not enough time to do them. To become time smart, we need to recognize these time traps in our lives: technology (constant interruptions that fragment our time), a money/work focus (I’ll work hard now so I can afford more leisure time for a later that never comes), undervaluing time, busyness as status, aversion to idleness, and saying yes believing we’ll have more time later than we do now.

How do we begin to turn this around? Whillans says to start with determining whether you are more money focused—willing to sacrifice time to have more money—or time focused—willing to sacrifice money to have more time. One is not better than the other but, “people who value money, and are in a position to be happier that way, still benefit from making time-related choices.” Our focus can change over time. The older we get, the more time becomes a major focus.

We should make leisure time, but it should be the right kind. “Free time devoted to active leisure—activities like volunteering, socializing, and exercising—promote happiness far more than spending time engaged in passive leisure activities like watching TV, napping, or online shipping.”

Fund time by outsourcing tasks or parts of tasks that you don’t like. Do less comparison shopping (we spend hours of time to save just a few dollars), or driving two miles out of your way to save ten cents on a gallon of gas. Account for your time.

Even though research shows that “people who value time are happier, healthier, and more productive than those who value money over time, turning all of this into time-affluent habits is not easy to do let alone wrap our minds around it.

Whillans offers eight strategies to become better at prioritizing time:

1. Address Your Why
Ask why you are doing what you are doing. If it is just to kill time or for no reason, then stop doing it. One exercise that she had that stood out to me in this regard was the substitution list. Add activities that are a better use of your time. Like this:

Phone games before meetings / INSTEAD: Chat with colleague
Website surfing before and after lunch / INSTEAD: Walk for 15 minutes before lunch, do nothing after.
Looking through, choosing Spotify playlists in the morning / INSTEAD: Get on the road, let Spotify choose playlist.

2. Allow (or schedule) Slack Time
While you want to substitute in time-affluent activities, you don’t want to pack your schedule with them. Slack time allows for spontaneity. “Prioritizing efficiency makes us more likely to miss opportunities to connect with weak ties: people who are likely to bring us creative ideas and new opportunities.”

3. Know Your Calendar Mindset
Whillans is referring here to two calendar mindsets: Clock-Time People and Event-Time People. Clock-time people don’t move to a new activity because it feels right, they do it because it is time to do it. On the other hand, Event-time people allow events to shape their schedule. There is a time for both. Know your basic approach and follow through on your plans accordingly.

4. Create Intentions
Be intentional about how you spend your time with specific action statements. If you want to read more books, say, “I will use my commute to listen to books on tape.”

5. Implement Rewards and Punishments
If your time goals are going well, reward yourself. If not, you need to implement a cost. Apps like Beeminder “takes $5 from your credit card for every goal you don’t meet.”

6. Engineer Defaults
Turn off your notifications. Check less often. There are also apps—Freedom and Ransomly—to help you do this. Just say no. “Several of my colleagues already do his by engineering an auto-response in email to say, ‘Thank you for your message; as a rule, I check email once a day at 8:30 a.m.’”

7. Recognize and Fight Mere Urgency
When faced with important tasks, we sometimes procrastinate and work on simpler, less important activities as an avoidance mechanism. If it is not urgent and important, schedule it for later or delegate it to someone else.

8. Make Leisure Leisurely
Are you actually enjoying the leisure time you have created? Separate the value of the activity from the cost. “Do not think about how much the vacation cost or whether the house cleaner was worth the financial investment. Instead, think about how nice it is to spend extra time with your friends and family.”

We need to take the long view of our lives. Whillans says, “You need to look ahead five to ten years and think about how big life choices will influence your time choices.” In a study of graduating college students, they found that “students who prioritized time were happier than those who prioritized money.”

Time is not money. Money is time. And we all have only so much of it. It’s time to make time a priority before we run out of it.

How did it get so late so soon?It’s night before it’s afternoon.December is here before it’s June.My goodness how time has flewn.How did it get so late so soon?— Dr. Seuss

* * * Like us on Instagram and Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.

* * *

 

Explore More

Deep Work 20000 Days

Read more: leadershipnow.com

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Alan Weiss on the fact that most fears are learned as are leadership behaviors, and we have to understand the causes:

“We cannot create improved behavior contingently, that is, simply patching up leaks and putting on band-aids. We have to prevent the fearful behavior in the future by eliminating the probable causes. The therapist’s admonition to “face our fears” is really an attempt to find the cause of them.”

Source: Fearless Leadership

II.

Brian Resnick on what is reality:

“Our brains work hard to bend reality to meet our prior experiences, our emotions, and our discomfort with uncertainty. This happens with vision. But it also happens with more complicated processes, like thinking about politics, the pandemic, or the reality of climate change.”

Source: “Reality” Is Constructed By Your Brain. Here’s What That Means, And Why It Matters

* * *

Look for these ideas every Thursday on the Leading Blog. Find more ideas on the LeadingThoughts index.

* * * Like us on Instagram and Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.

 

Explore More

Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

Read more: leadershipnow.com

twitter
twitter Here are a selection of tweets from May 2019 that you don’t want to miss:

Leadership and Groundhog Day from @wallybock
Here are some ways to improve retention that are more effective than simplistic employee satisfaction surveys.
Bill Buckner: A Man Of Grace from @JohnBaldoni
3 Ways to Prevent a Mis-Performance Meltdown by @WScottCochrane
Five Common Communication Mistakes (And How to Fix Them) via @StanfordGSB
Artificial Intelligence for the Perplexed Executive vis @StanfordGSB
Making Noise: 3 Tips for Better Leading in a Noisy World by Ken Downer @RapidStartLdr
The World in 2030: Nine Megatrends to Watch by Andrew S. Winston via @mitsmr
3 Surprising Ways To Start A Strong Leadership Day by @WScottCochrane
Help! I want to pitch VCs but don’t want anyone stealing my idea by @maynard
A Surprising Example Of Why You Don’t Need A Title To Effectively Lead Others by @TanveerNaseer Nailed it.
This Is The Reason Most People Get Stuck In Mediocrity by @LaRaeQuy
15 Quotes by Mary Parker Follett – Guidance for Today’s World by @JesseLynStoner
Advice for the Graduating Class of 2019 by @michaelaroberto
7 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Leadership Coach by @LollyDaskal
How Big Tech Threatens Economic Liberty via @amconmag Under the current power dynamics, entrepreneurs are often faced with two options: sell out or get crushed.
Coach John Beilein Takes His Game To A New Level from @JohnBaldoni
How Leaders Make the Best Ideas Work via @LetsGrowLeaders
Why Men Don’t Have Friends and Why Women Should Care by @JesseLynStoner
Sometimes You Need To Dial Back Your Aspirations! from @JohnBaldoni
“Right now, it’s like this” is an invitation to explore what is present. It reassures us that impermanence is hard at work. Even though the mind threatens me with the idea that “it’s going to be like this forever,” this phrase helps me call BS on that.”
Roadmap: Five Phases of Digital Eras by @jowyang
On American college campuses, history has been declining in popularity more rapidly than any other major.
Establishing Trust: Why the Details Matter by @RapidStartLdr Ken Downer
What is the difference between brand and marketing? by @lindsaycpederse

See more on twitter Twitter.
* * * Like us on Instagram and Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.
Explore More
Great Leaders Have No Rules 36 Lessons from Coach Bill Campbell

Read more: leadershipnow.com

Weekend Supplement
Dignity and class.
On and off the field, Julius Peppers was a leader.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said, “Julius has had an incredible impact in the NFL from the day that he came in. What an amazing player over the course of a long period of time. Just incredible physical, mental toughness. What an incredible career.”
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski recalls, “I remember my first time lining up versus him, and I looked up and I was like ‘This dude’s a freak! His arms are like five times bigger than mine! He’s a great player, and it was just an honor to be able compete versus him.”
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald remembers, “He’s one of the best to ever do it. Made a lot of plays. I remember as a kid watching him play. Just a whole lot of respect for him. I remember being at a Pro Bowl, got an opportunity to talk to him and try to, like, feed off of him, ask him questions. One heck of a football player.”
His accomplishments on the field are impressive, but off the field, he demonstrated leadership, community, and empathy.
In February 2009, Peppers donated $500,000 to a scholarship program that supports black students at his alma mater the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
After Hurricane Florence, the North Carolina native started the Julius Peppers Hurricane Florence relief fund by donating $100,000 and encouraged his teammates and other NFL players to join in. Actively involved in the recovery efforts, he told the Charlotte Observer, “I think a big part of the solution to these problems, and a big part of the help is the volunteers. People actually getting out there on the ground, putting in the work, going around helping other people and showing compassion for your neighbors. That really left an impression on me. …People need to know that we’re all a big community and we all need help from time to time.”
Julius Peppers announced his retirement Friday, February 1 after seventeen years in the NFL. He left us this video:

“Thank you.
For the victories and the good times.
For the lessons and the times, we desired more.
For the sacrifices, the belief, the confidence, and the unwavering support, I’m thankful.
Because without you, this wasn’t possible.
Thank you for the spirit, the resolve, and the attitude to Keep pounding.
It’s not something we just say, around here it’s how we live.
I’m thankful for the things you showed me about life that were bigger than football.
And for a second chance, a new beginning.
See the players, we come, and we go, but the constant is you and as the saying goes “once a panther, always a panther.”
Thank you for the memories, friendships, laughs and the culture we created.
For the understanding and for being family.
Thanks for all the years, and cheers.
And for being home now and forever.
I wouldn’t change a thing about this journey, it was the best teacher I’ve ever had, and was everything I could’ve hoped for.
The tough times never lasted, and the tough people inspired me to be better and give more.
I hope I did the same.
Only time can reveal what’s next, but my time here is up. No regrets, no looking back and nothing left to give.
It’s not goodbye; it’s kinda like I’ll see ya later.
But until then I’m grateful, I’m satisfied and at peace with all that comes next.
Thank you.”
And thank you, Julius, for showing us the mind of a leader.leadership blog

Read more: leadershipnow.com

Who Will Lead Us Tomorrow?

Lead Us Tomorrow
WE ARE RAISING TODAY, the men and women who will lead us tomorrow. It is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. It should be done with forethought and with a consideration of the kind of world we hope they and we will live in when it’s their turn to lead.
Developing leaders places a huge responsibility on us today that goes beyond telling those future leaders what we think. To develop leaders, we must not only envision the leaders we want tomorrow, but we must behave in the manner of the leaders we want to see.
We may not like the leadership or lack of it that we see today, but if our reaction to anything we don’t like is anger, outrage, hatred, and vicious rhetoric, we are endorsing those values by way of example. Unwittingly, we perpetuate hatred, outrage, and vulgarity in the leaders of tomorrow. They learn to lead by watching us “lead.”
Martin Luther King succeeded because he calmly but passionately painted a picture of a world that appealed to our morality. He shared a positive idea to replace a negative idea without attacking other people. His example had moral weight. He was silenced by hatred. Hatred and anger is an idea without reason—it’s unreasonable—a rudderless opinion with no foundation.
We must be the leaders we want to see developed in the generations that follow us. If you want leaders who listen, who are understanding, compassionate, civil, and respectful, then we must display those values in our dealings with what we see happening around us. If not, we are the problem. If we want others to respect us and listen to us, we must respectfully listen to them. We talk when we should be listening.
If we believe people should be respectful of each other, then we must be those people. Returning in kind is tempting and sometimes funny, but it does nothing but add to the discord we see around us. Real leaders resist the temptation and rise above it. Our response should be one that is conscious and empathetic of the other person’s frustration and often misplaced angst. To do anything else only adds to the destructive division we see today.
Real leaders connect, they don’t divide. They focus on similarities, not differences. We often think that if I don’t yell, I won’t be heard, but we aren’t heard because we are yelling. The most strident voice is not the leader. Harsh words do not connect with others. “Blood in the streets” is not a mature response to disagreement.
When we become the leaders we should be, those that follow will learn to lead the way they should. As we learn and grow, those around us will learn and grow. We are modeling now the kind of leadership we will have in the future.
American poet Edwin Markham’s poem captures the need for us to grow into the leaders we want others to be:
We are all blind until we see
—That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making if
—It does not make the man.
Why build these cities glorious
—If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the work, unless
—The builder also grows.
If we want our children to be intentional about their lives, we must too be intentional about ours with the end in mind—with the consequences of our personal behavior in mind. Meaningful lives are built; they don’t just happen. If we want them to be adults, we must act like adults. We are shaping the character of future leaders today. We must resolve to be the leaders we wish to see.
What will our future leaders be like? Who will lead us tomorrow? What legacy are we leaving for our children? We only need to look at ourselves.
* * * Like us on Instagram and Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.

Read more: leadershipnow.com