As we rush headlong into our days we may miss the reality that many of us are doing more at the cost of “being” less. Remember the old western movies when the stagecoach driver gets shot and he drops the reins and the horse are galloping wildly toward the edge of the cliff? Someone has to climb up to the driver’s seat and then jump down into the midst of the horses and grab the reins to regain control of the horses, slow the stagecoach, and avert catastrophe! Who’s driving your stagecoach? How fast are you going? Are you heading toward a cliff?
I’ve written before about the fact that we are all leaving a legacy. What legacy are you creating? Are you racing through your work as a leader and your life? Is it time to be more intentional? Is it time to regroup, refocus, and reenergize? Many in the northern hemisphere are planning some time off this summer. How can we use this wonderful gift of time off, that so many in the world can only dream of, to regroup, refocus, and reenergize ourselves so that we make a more positive impact and leave a more positive legacy?
At the end of “The House at Pooh Corner” by A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin is telling Pooh that he won’t be able to do “nothing” anymore. He wonders if Pooh will think of him when he’s out in the world not doing “nothing.” Pooh promises he will and Christopher Robin promises he will be there too [in spirit]. And the story ends with the message that in that enchanted place in the forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing.
If we are going to spend most of our time out in the world not doing “nothing,” we need to treat time off as sacred, and use that time to regroup, refocus, and reenergize ourselves so that when we are out in the world not doing “nothing” we can remain grounded, centered, and intentional in our thoughts and interactions with those we lead. It is in the sacred time of doing “nothing” that we can find refreshment, rejuvenation, and reconnection with ourselves, our unique journey, our meaning and place in things.
Leadership demands we bring ourselves fully to our interactions with others. We can’t do that if we don’t have a firm grip on the reins. We can’t do that if we’re racing toward a cliff. We can’t do that (well) if we aren’t grounded, centered, and intentional about who we are and what we want.
If you’re fortunate enough to have some time off, you have a responsibility to use it well. Regroup! – Remind yourself of who you are. Refocus! – What is your meaning and purpose? Reenergize! Slow down and reconnect with your truest inner voice.
When we make time to regroup, refocus, and reenergize, we walk the path of leadership with greater intention and leave a legacy of our own choosing and making.
Just let go. It will all be here when you get back.
Here’s a little song to start you on your way.