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Leadership13 mei 2021by Benoit Strauven0The hard nuts take time to crack

About the value of slowing down, and how it applies to your company.

“Resilience is about how you recharge, not about how you endure.” (HBR article 2016)

Last weekend, I decided to slow down. For real. Together with Lucy, my best non-human friend, I drove our little camper van to a beautiful location on the Belgian-French border. And I stopped. I went off-grid from Friday till Monday.

Did I get bored? Oh no. I brought way too many books, all of which are relevant to me at this point in life. The local restaurant delivered a stream of delicious meals to my doorstep. And Lucy and I walked around not knowing where we’d end up.

 

But this isn’t a fairy tale story. Slowing down is tough and confrontational, for many reasons.

One such reason – for me – is the belief that I have to make progress on this kind of trips. Surely, when I get 4 days to think about life, about my business, I must come up with an action plan. I can’t go home empty handed!

Here’s the key: the biggest breakthroughs came
after I had let go of the pressure to come up with breakthroughs.

“You can’t hurry love”, and the same is true for deep insight. It’s not realistic to make an entry in your agenda, with the subject ‘Breakthrough’ or ‘Team Building’.

I invite you to think about two questions :

How does this apply to your organization and how it approaches important topics? “Let’s do a creative strategy workshop on Wednesday at 14:30!”. Yeah right. The hard nuts take time to crack. Great leaders create a succession of diverse interactions in which insights can grow and progress can be made.

How does this apply to you as a leader? Do you slow down often enough? Do you offer yourself the gift of thinking time? And do you offer yourself the support of a thinking partner?

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