This month we’re thinking about thinking. We’ve spent time in recent weeks thinking deeply about the women we serve and their path to fulfillment. Our Building the Foundation workshop is the first step on that path, but there is much more, which you will be seeing from us in the coming months. Watch our newsletter and our website. Incidentally, we’re pretty proud of our new website. If you haven’t taken a look in recent days, check it out. It has a new look and feel.
Last week we had a great time presenting at the Shell women’s network annual conference (WAVE – Women Adding Value Everywhere). The keynote speakers, Marlys Hanson and Marsha Petrie Sue offered substantive and motivating advice for managing your career. We presented our topic “Know Yourself – Energize Your Career”. The women of WAVE did an excellent job!
All new ideas start with a thought. This month we write about the importance of being intentional in the thinking process.
Susan & Lynn
What Was I Thinking?
What was I thinking when I took this job? What was I thinking when I agreed to host this event? What was I thinking when I thought that x would be a good idea? Have you ever wondered, “How did I get myself into this situation?” It happens. To all of us. Often because we act before we think.
Thinking is one of those things we take for granted. Our brain is always there, on site, doing its’ job. It’s reacting in the moment, making quick decisions, constantly processing the multitude of activities going on around us. In fact, the business culture in the US reinforces the belief that taking quick decisions is an advantage. But there’s a downside to always reacting quickly and in the moment.
A number of years ago, we learned that if more than 70% of a leader’s day is scheduled, that leader can’t be effective in the job. If you’re always in meetings with other people, you have no time to deliberately process your thoughts without interruption from the views of others. You’re constantly being influenced by outside forces. There’s no time to spend time on those problems, projects or decisions that require your full attention.
Without deliberate time to focus on an issue, it is likely to be determined by the opinions of others, surface information or environmental circumstances. John Maxwell, in his book, “How Successful People Think”, says, “When you hear someone say, ‘Now this is just off the top of my head,’ expect dandruff.” Intentional thinking leads to intentional decisions.
Our work at Women Leading Together is to help women be more intentional in managing their lives and careers. In our Building the Foundation Workshop, you learn the three components of the Career Fulfillment Model™, which includes how to be intentional about those things that will lead to fulfillment and success. Knowing how to take care of your basic needs and priorities, including thinking time, is part of this.
Good decisions need reflection time. They require your personal attention. That means you need alone time to work YOUR agenda. Whether at the office or at home, it’s important to spend time for your personal reflection and disciplined thinking.
Career Tip: Schedule thinking time in your calendar and protect it. You can call it “The 70% rule” to remind you. Then use that time in a disciplined manner.
Book Review: “How Successful People Think” by John Maxwell
If you’ve read any of John Maxwell’s 50 plus books on leadership, you’ll know that his writing style is practical, clear, actionable and always leaves the reader with the feeling that his recommended changes can be achieved. Perhaps it is this last point that makes his books enjoyable – Maxwell gives readers hope that they can change.
In “How Successful People Think”, Maxwell advocates that thinking should not be something done only in the background but that successful people differentiate themselves from the average person by how they think. He gives specific guidance on the how and why of deliberate thinking, and explains the impact it can have on your leadership. Click here for more on “How Successful People Think.”
Article: 8 Things You Should Not Do Everyday
While we’re on the subject of how to inject a new practice into your daily schedule (thinking) let’s not forget this good advice from Jeff Haden’s article in Inc. magazine about “8 Things You Should Not Do Everyday”.
Women and Wine after work event: “Shedding the Shoulds” July 17, 2013
Breakfast Seminar: “When What You’ve Always Done Doesn’t Work Anymore” August 16, 2013
About Susan and Lynn
Susan Hodge and Lynn Rousseau created Women Leading Together in order to provide seminars, workshops, and coaching circles to help career women move forward to create fulfilling careers. Visit our website at www.WomenLeadingTogether.com.