Autumn has finally arrived in Chicago. Temperatures are fluctuating all over the place and it seems like everyone has the sniffles in the office, either from allergies or their first cold.
But as we have written about this blog previously (http://www.5for5blog.com/5-for-5-blog-budget-season-how-are-you-planning-your-time/, http://www.5for5blog.com/5-for-5-blog-slow-down/) this season can quickly turn into a black hole if you let it. As a leader, I can fully appreciate this time of year for what it is: budget time and closing out end of year goals. Having a family, it is also a time for holidays and the like.
As I get older, I realize the need to be far more intentional about how I spend my time and my energy. So in trying to take some of my own advice, here are some of the things I am thinking about this season
It’s a season for planning
No doubt this would be my primary focus if I did nothing else. And it is certainly critical. Knowing the needs and strengths of your team and how to commit performance to help the growth of the business is crucial. But aside from the standard business metrics, take stock in your team’s engagement. Your planning is not complete until you have developed options for building your team.
It’s a season for trying something new
While this may sound insane, the problem with this season of the year is that it is so busy, we fall into routines. Routines for meetings, routines for updates, routines for relationships. While routines aren’t all that bad from an efficiency standpoint, if my days turn into one big routine, I know this will diminish my creative thinking. Some of the things I am trying this season include: meditating for five minutes each morning, getting up to move for 5 minutes, twice per hours, and relearning cursive. These may not be at the top of your list, but consider adding something new again as a way to break up the status quo and to spark creativity.
It’s a season for learning
There is never a bad season for learning. As we have mentioned before, there has never been a better time to learn. Between, books, blogs, podcasts, and You Tube, people are creating A LOT of content. The great part about blogs and podcasts, especially, is that they are usually full of good ideas, and depending on the post can be consumed in less than 5 minutes. Three ideas for channels with content that will inform and inspire are: Fast Company, Seth Godin, and Gary Vaynerchuck.
It’s a season for dreaming big
Dreaming big is different than planning. Planning, in my mind, is about the next year only……dreaming big is more about where you could go. If you are a leader, you are responsible for casting a vision of what is possible and where the team is going. Short of that it is highly likely that the team will fall into the rut of production, rather than reaching their full creative and leadership capacity. Challenge yourself and your leaders to think and dream big. Teams will thrive on bold challenges, but only if you give yourself permission to do so. The reason to stress doing this in Q4 is that if you wait until the new year, then it is likely you could defer the start of your big initiatives until the “right time” which could mean indefinitely. Dream big, communicate before the end of the year and hit the ground running come January.
Like many things in our lives, how we view each season is a choice. Again, Q4 is insanely busy, but as leader looking to make a difference, now is the time for us to think differently and make the most of this season rather than getting to December 31st and wondering where it went.
Here are this week’s 5 for 5 articles:
What would happen… – by Seth Godin
- SO WHAT: Outcomes are functions of choices. When we own and realize we control ours, we can choose to have a meaningful impact.
Use Mirroring to Connect With Others – by Sue Shellenberger
- SO WHAT: When practiced subtly, this can be a powerful tool in building relationship.
Steal old stuff – by Austin Kleon
- SO WHAT: With as much great material is being produced by the latest research, this post appropriately challenges us to study the leader, philosophers, and thinkers of the past and learn their ways as well.
The Secret to Resilience? A Good Story. – by Brad Stulberg
- SO WHAT: We have talked about this on the blgo before, the story we choose to tell ourselves sets the context for how we view it.
Three Ways to Focus the Wandering Mind – by Daniel Goleman
- SO WHAT: The key to accomplishing great work is great focus. Great tips to managing your mind going off the rails.
all the best, kevin