The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.
- Thomas Edison
The title of last week’s post – “On Leadership and Solitude” – might have appeared as a contradiction, since leaders must be around people in order to have anyone to lead… and yet in solitude we are alone. So what's up with that?
As mentioned last week, in order to truly lead, a person needs time alone to sort through personal priorities, motivations, goals, achievements - and of significant value, one’s failures, in order to harvest lessons that can be learned.
Even so, and as true this principle might be, it can be hard to actually get the time away that is essential for such recalibration.
Therefore, I would propose 3 things that can help to establish a pattern of solitude:
- Decide on a frequency – Do I need time away once a month; once a quarter (as recommended last week); once a year? Pick the frequency that fits your own wiring harness.
- Decide on a location – Is it best to close the office door and switch the phones to “do not disturb” (not recommended), or to seek a location completely away from the normal work environment. Keep in mind that the goal is solitude.
- Schedule it today – based on the above two questions, open your calendar software or paper dairy and schedule a specific time – and write on the selected time parameter, “time for nothing.”
Of course, the idea is more than “time for nothing.” It’s simply a way to remind ourselves not to stake a pile of projects in the time set aside. Rather, seek to use the time as suggested in last week’s blog/email.
Let me know your thoughts, ideas, experiences. It is likely high time that we each take time for …
nothing… tactical time away.
Photo Credit: Tim Bogdanov