Great leaders are driven to perform and execute. There are times though that the best option for a leader is to stop. To practice the lost art of stopping and intentionally doing nothing to refocus on certain things that would propel them forward. Stopping to propel forward is less about physically going or doing and all about mental actions. If done on a regular basis the principle of stopping can actually position you to move forward and into new levels of success. Here are 4 reasons why every leader should stop on a regular basis.
1. Stop to plan
Leaders must balance proper planning with action. There are times when you should work and there are times when you should stop to plan and strategize. Proper planning allows for projects to be efficiently completed and launched. The key is that the larger the project or goal the more you need to plan. Stopping long enough to plan can excel the team and organization into new levels of success. Always remember the words of time management expert Alan Lakin stated, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
2. Stop to process
Leaders live in a fast pace work environment. The decisions leaders have to make and the answers they have to provide are expected to be given in a timely manner, often very quickly. In law enforcement and the military the decisions could be a matter of life and death. In the business world it means a significant gain or loses in sales and overall profits.
One decision could greatly impact the organizations future for either the good or bad. This is why it’s crucial to stop and process the decisions you are making, so you can determine the best option or choice. This is especially true when it comes to the high risk or critical decisions or answers you have to give. Stopping to process can excel you and the organization forward.
3. Stop to think
Thinking is one of the most valuable things a leader can do. Leaders who spend time thinking on a regular basis will always be exceling forward. In 6 Thinking Principles to Excel your Leadership I shared these principles that you should consider applying:
- The principle of deep thinking- Take time to really dig into and think about an idea or thought for an extend amount of time.
- The principle of big thinking- Think outside of your normal imagination and into the realm of your desired future or achievements.
- The principle of priority thinking- Focus your thinking time on the most important ideas or topics.
- The principle of strategic thinking- This allows you to properly plan and strategize about the next course of action.
- The principle of future thinking- Taking time to think about the future allows a leader to clarify and properly plan for the future.
- The principle of executing your thinking- This principle is about putting action to your thinking.
Stop and adapt these principles into your thinking time. It will allow you to excel forward in your leadership.
4. Stop to reflect
Author Peter Drucker wisely said, “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” Before reflecting on outside factors you should consider reflecting on yourself. You should take time to reflect on your emotions, attitude, behaviors, and reactions. Ask yourself what you could have done better and what you could have done well in the situation. Once you have taken the proper amount of time to reflect inwardly you can then reflect on outside factors like: a team member’s performance, a problem or issue at hand, a current project, or the release of a product or service. Stopping to reflect can help you to propel forward.
Question: How do you practice stopping so you can position yourself to propel forward?
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