I will prepare and someday my chance will come. – Abraham Lincoln
There is no better time to be reminded about stopping and taking time to prepare than when you are entering the strategic planning cycle for the upcoming year. Just about a year ago, I posted about how 90% of leadership is preparation and being intentional about thinking through things carefully and thoroughly. And yet all too often the tactical/operational elements of our jobs consume our mind share and energy to the point we sacrifice the strategic.
As I was taking some time yesterday to catch up on some reading, I had just such a reminder with the article When There’s No Time to Think, Fly Up. I was especially struck by a comment about facing volatility and velocity. The author suggests “… and most, including myself, have begun to respond to this by trying to move faster, reacting to every vibration of the iPhone. Schedules are filling up with more and more activity, all of it reactionary attempts to respond to the risks generated by all this volatility.”
Isn’t that the truth? Especially now as we gear up to complete goals for this year while the demands of documenting requirements for the upcoming year dominate our attention. Not to mention the day to day fire fighting that just comes with the territory! Calgon, take me away!
The article is a really good read, and amidst the steps about ways of being intentional, you will find this marvelous diagram that has me compelled enough to pick up the book the author references!
And I really don’t think I can offer an better close than the author did … “No time to think… Really? Is this a matter of better time management? Not really. Time is not managed. We can only manage ourselves. If we understand that good thinking is absolutely necessary for personal and organizational well-being, then we need to zealously pursue it and guard it as a priority.”