How the Super Busy Leader Can Recharge by Half-Stopping

Recharge space

Half-stopping – have you ever heard of that as a way for super busy leaders to recharge? I hadn’t. Be inspired then by David Rock’s “Half-Time August”. As a super busy USA leader he says he cannot take a fortnight’s holiday without being very stressed before hand and afterwards. He can, however, take a month’s holiday with his family and work half-time. For all you leaders in the Southern Hemisphere, this is your “Half-Time January”. David solves the super busy leader’s dilemma of not being able to stop work, as well as the work-life integration dilemma. He goes off with his family for a month – works half time and spends the other half with his family. He will often work 2-3 days and then takes long week-ends of 3-4 days when he does no work. Or he works half days and then spends the rest of the day with family.

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Stop, Step Back and Recharge – Why is it so Hard?

Be Difference Makers

If stress and overwhelm have taken control of your life  the only way back is to stop, step back and recharge. That is incredibly hard for leaders to do when they see everything they do as vitally important. The answer is not, as many think, about improving their time management skills. It is about being able to set priorities, of being able to determine what’s most important. It is also about knowing what to stop doing, what to keep doing and what to start doing. You can only do this when your head is clear, not when it is overloaded with lists of what you have to do. In this blog you’ll find ways for super busy leaders on how to stop and how to recharge. When we can find what allows us to stop, step back and recharge, we need to do more of it.

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When Stress and Overwhelm Take Control

Stressed and Overwhelmed Professional

When we are experiencing stress and overwhelm about our workloads, we tend to automatically think “if only I had better time management skills I could manage this workload”. At least that’s what people say to me when they come for mentoring, help me manage my time better. What is causing their stress, however, is not their time management but rather that they are not good at setting priorities. The first thing people need to do when they become stressed and overwhelmed is to STOP, STEP BACK and REFLECT on what is happening for them. I talk about the value you can gain from doing that even while you don’t believe you have time to do it. The more important question, however, is whether you are prepared to do it. If you are not there are consequences that are far worse than the current stress and overwhelm.

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Prioritise Your Life. Don’t Let Life Get in the Way.

Leaders listen, employees engageTeamwork

We are living in very uncertain times that have been thrust upon us. It is very easy to feel powerless in the midst of this unrelenting COVID virus threat. It is easy to let ourselves drift, or lurch, along with it. But I want to throw open the challenge to you to begin to use this time to prioritise your life. You have the power. You can take hold of your future. You can begin to prioritise what you want it to be. So take time to step back and do it.

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What Does Your Ideal Performer Look Like?

Prioritise Your Life

When people are hired they are given a letter of engagement with certain expectations in it. They are also given KPIs they are expected to meet in the role for which they are employed.  But the performance concerns that leaders bring to me in mentoring/coaching do not generally relate to those specific issues which are more easy to manage. They relate to behaviours that are much more intangible and more difficult to define. They are also the behaviours that employees don’t know are expectations because their leader/manager has not articulated them as expectations.

That’s why the mentoring/coaching approach is so very helpful here. We engage in reflection, critical thinking and problem solving, exploration and discovery of those intangible behaviours. At the same time developing and enhancing the self-awareness of the leader.

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Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet.

Open Book And Pen

It’s now 36 days since New Year’s Day. What were your goals for this new year? What did you hope for? What did you want to happen in your life in 2021? What commitments did you make?
2021 has to be better than 2020. It has to offer more opportunity. It will, however, continue to be  challenging. It’s very easy to blame “the virus” for lost opportunities, for thwarting our goals, for derailing our best endeavours. But there’s more to beating the virus than a vaccine.
We can beat the virus by proactively taking steps to make 2021 our best year yet.
I suspect that many of us have already let life get in the way of our hopes, dreams and aspirations for this year. Struggle has become our middle name. The excitement has gone. You no longer have fire in your belly.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can change the way you approach this new year.

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How the Language Leaders Use Impacts Engagement and Performance

We all want our people to be fully engaged and to be high performing, yet the language leaders use so often demotivates and disempowers our people. This then sees them being used and not at all valued for who they are and what they bring to their organisation.

It was a comment in an article by Adriana Stan and Tom Goodwin that triggered this Authentic Conversation between Gary Ryan and myself. They said:

“The worst thing we ever did in corporate America (and we did it in Australia as well) was to take the most vital part of any company – the people powering it – and label it so dismissively as ‘human resources’.”

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Making Decisions and Committing to Them


I’m sure all of us can to relate to making decisions but then not committing to making them happen. There is a very real difference between a decision and a commitment.

I certainly have made many decisions in my life time but never followed through to making them happen. In fact making decisions is very easy. It’s just words. But making a commitment is very hard. It requires action and it often means stepping out of our comfort zone into a place where we feel very unsure of ourselves.

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When Leaders Listen, Employees Engage

Leaders listen, employees engageTeamwork

What are the most important skills that enhance leadership in these times? I absolutely believe that good communication skills are crucially important. Too often, however, we tend to think that communication is all about what we say, but listening is a very important part of good communication. From my experience, when leaders listen employees engage. They feel valued and feel that what they have to say has value for the leader and the organisation.

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We Make The Road While Walking

We Make The Road While Walking

There has never been another time in my life where I have seen leaders so challenged from so many sides. They are being called upon to lead in the most unpredictable and uncertain times and, of course, unprecedented times.

They are having to make decisions quickly without all the facts. They have to trust their judgement and draw on their inner resources, acting courageously and without fear or favour.

While they are being advised by experts in every relevant field, there are no guarantees that the decisions they make will take us where they want to go.

They have no idea what the road ahead looks like because they can’t see very far ahead at all. They can’t see around the corner.

I recall what Paulo Freire said decades ago when we don’t know what is ahead of us: We make the road while walking. That’s what our leaders need to do in leading through this crisis.

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