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Good Leaders are NOT Busy

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDDhsD36mVU[/embedyt]

In general, leaders or anyone trying to be a leader we’re just too damn busy.

What’s up guys, welcome back to The Vlog and today I’m going to talk about an issue that plagues leaders, myself included and this the idea of being busy.

I feel like as we ascend into leadership positions, managerial positions, maybe we aspire to be in those positions. Somehow we believe that leadership, more responsibility, should come with being busy, or we’re busy, “I’m too busy for that. I don’t have time for that.”

Absolutely, positively, the wrong mindset.

Good leaders are not busy.

Good leaders create opportunities, they create moments, as Seth Godin says,

“Slack in their day to be opportunistic, to be available, to be able to engage where necessary.”

If you’re busy all day long then you can’t take advantage of those moments that could be some of the most crucial in your business.

Busy is not the point.

Busy is not the goal, and if you are busy or if you’re feeling busy, if you’re feeling too busy, if you’re feeling stress and anxiety and your ability from being busy, then something is wrong, you need to step back.

A couple of episodes ago I talked about how the pressure of creating was giving me a sense of being stuck and that I had to go back and do almost like a detox day. That was on July 4th, that was a couple of episodes ago.

Well, the same exact thing is true with being busy. We dive into our email and we have to be part of that and we set up meetings all day long, meeting after meeting, after phone call, after meeting.

We’re busy and nothing gets done and you get to the end of the day and you feel just as much stress and anxiety and irritability as we did when the day started and that’s not supposed to be the case.

If we’re busy all day long we have no time for personal development, personal growth, time to maybe read a long-form article or book or watch a video of someone who helps us move forward or listen to a podcast or make a phone call to somebody that we really want to spend time with, a mentor, a peer, a colleague, that random act of kindness, that random engagement that creates serendipity, that the muse so willingly rewards.

If we’re busy, if there isn’t slack in our day and I don’t mean Slack the tool, I mean slack in a line, if we are just taunt and stressed and if there’s tension on us all day long then nothing gets done. Good leaders are not busy all day.

Anyone who has been in a leadership or managerial position or works for themselves, manages themselves knows prioritization, efficiency, productivity are incredibly important to your business, but the problem starts when we focus so much on efficiency and productivity and prioritization and then all we do is start to backfill the time that we save ourselves with more activities and it feels like we’re getting more done, but we’re not.

Allow open moments in your day.

Allow for serendipity, allow your mind a chance to decompress and allow new thoughts to enter. Find new places to grab information and allow the connections to happen, but if your brain doesn’t have freedom, if it’s taunt and tense all the time then it doesn’t have the capacity, the mind share to actually open up and try to build those new connections that are necessary for truly great leadership, for inspiration, for moments of clarity because you constantly have noise in your brain, the next email that has to be answered, the next meeting you have to go to, the next phone call you have to make.

So I want to share with you the best advice I’ve ever come across for creating these open moments in your day and it comes from a guy by the name of Derek Sivers and Derek’s philosophy is very simple.

If you’re not saying, “Hell yeah,” about something, say “No.”

Derek Sivers

The answer to everything is either, “Hell yes,” or “No.” It’s either “Hell yes,” or “No.” Should I take this meeting? “Hell yes, that meeting is important to our business, it’s important to getting things done,” then you take the meeting, but if the answer isn’t, “Hell yes,” then it’s “No.”

When you say “No” to most things you leave room in your life to throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say, “Hell yeah.”

Guard that open space as a leader.

Good leaders aren’t busy because otherwise, you’re never available when the opportunity presents itself, your mind isn’t clear, your mind doesn’t have the time to build connections, it doesn’t have the time to find the path around the obstacle that’s keeping you from success, that’s keeping your organization from success.

Those things are impossible if your brain is cluttered and noisy with busyness.

Do not be busy.

I’m going to leave with a quote from Peter Drucker and the quote goes,

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” My friends, don’t be busy. Don’t be busy, keep open space, “Hell yes,” or “No.” Busy is not the point.

Peter Drucker

I love you for watching this.

Yours in strength,


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