THIS WEEK’S BLOG ->
READ -> This is a really good blog from Michael Hyatt on stillness!
LISTEN -> Pete Scazzero has a podcast called “Emotionally Healthy Leader”. This podcast is on this topic of silence.
VERSE -> Matthew 14:23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
Video-> What I Learned This Week– Silence plus three other disciplines that help clarity.
What Does Silence and Leadership Have To Do With Each Other?
Most people would not think of silence when thinking of a key leadership discipline.
They might think of time management, communication, or running effective meetings, but surely not silence
Its definitely not something most people will write about!
But here I am, writing about silence, more specifically, sitting in silence to think. Notebook, pen, and silence.
Imagine a lake. This lake, when calm, is super clear. When you are swimming, you can actually see where you are going (unlike Texas lakes).
If you were to take that lake and throw 30 teenagers in and tell them to splash around, the lake would cease to be clear. They would stir up all sorts of soot, mud, and other things.
This is our brain. It is often too cloudy because we have ‘stirred up’ all sorts of things. Our schedules are crazy and we are running a hundred miles an hour. When we do get some downtime, we have a screen in front of our face. Because of our crazy schedule and busy mind, we simply do not see clearly.
Sitting in silence is basically letting the soot, mud, and debris from our life settle so we can see and think more clearly.
The benefits of sitting in silence to think are huge. Again, no input. Just you and your thoughts.
- Sitting in silence will help you think more clearly
- Sitting in silence will give time for the dust to settle in your heart and mind
- Sitting in silence will help you be more creative
- Sitting in silence will help create ah-ha moments
- Sitting in silence will help you see around corners and anticipate
Here is the bad news: It is actually really hard to sit in silence and just think. We are so programmed to be doing something that you feel almost neurotic as you try to slow down.
Blaise Pascal is quoted as saying “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Blaise lived in the mid-1600s. Can you imagine what he would say now!
It takes practice. I try to do this for at least 15 minutes every morning. To just sit and think. I am a follower of Jesus so I will sit and just be in His presence. I will sit and let the soot settle in my mind.
You don’t have to be a person of faith to do this. Just simply sitting to create space (with no input) to think will spawn clarity and creativity.
I end by asking this question: Do you want to be a more creative, clear thinking, healthy leader who anticipates and sees around corners?
If so, I challenge you to do the following.
Over the next 14 days, take 10 minutes a day to just sit and think. Asking yourself questions like…
“What are my current challenges I am facing?”
“What problems do I see coming?”
“Am I missing anything?”
“When I look at the problems, do I need to reframe or look at them from a different perspective?”
“What do I need to be working on?”
“What high-value activities should I be doing?”
“Who needs my leadership the most right now?”
Do this for 14 straight days. If after 14 straight days you don’t see things more clearly or are a more anticipatory leader, email me and give me your experience. I am convinced that if you will do this for two weeks you will experience a tremendous difference.
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