I’m busy

Just a continuation of my thoughts about the leader that I described in yesterday’s post.  So many things have stuck with me.  

Here’s one of them.

There’s are two words that I don’t recall ever hearing from him.

“I’m busy.”

The bizarre thing was that I knew that he was.  When there was a lull in the action, he set out to find more things to do in his quest to make everything that he could influence that much better.  He always was busy.

Yet, no matter how much paper was in front of him on his desk or how many windows/applications that he had open on his computer, I just had to stick my head in the door or tap on it to get his attention.  A wave brought me into the office where everything was stopped to hear what I had to say.  In the big scheme of things, my thoughts or wishes or concerns were miniscule.

The attention that I got and the instant advice made me feel like it was the most important thing in the world and, together, we were going to solve it.

The result was, of course, that we would do so much.  There was never time wasted wondering whether or not Doug’s latest idea had merit.  I knew right away that I was enabled (or not) and life went on.  I will admit that the process made me come to the table better prepared with a complete proposal and not just a concept.

For that moment in time though, my concerns got his full attention.  You know the old adage about not remembering the content but remembering how you felt?  That was me.

Based upon this modelling, I tried to make it part of everything I do.  I suppose that the practical answer is that traditionally the approach would generate another meeting to go over the details.  And yet, by giving it full attention at that moment in time, I walked just a little bit taller and moved forward more confidently.

In your leadership position, as established yesterday, do you enable at the moment?  Why or why not?

Would such an approach work for you?

3 thoughts on “I’m busy

  1. Great post, Doug, and in many ways I agree. I’m going to be a bit of Devil’s Advocate here though. I’m a Kindergarten teacher, and sometimes, people (e.g., the principal, a speech pathologist, resource teacher) drop by our classroom to talk to me on a variety of topics. While I want to give them my full attention, when in the classroom, my focus is really on the kids. Sometimes I have to ask if we can arrange another time to sit down and talk together. Then I can really give them my full attention. I don’t do this all of the time, but sometimes, to really be there for someone else, means that a different time and place are necessary. I wonder if others feel this way.

    Aviva

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  2. Thanks for your comments, Aviva. Things definitely are different depending upon the job and the age level of the students. I had the luxury? of secondary school students and, later as a consultant, no students. I think that a drop in principal would understand. Shift the focus to those you’re in charge of – do you make their inquiries, questions, and concerns the most important thing in the world to them at the moment?

    What I left out of the original post was that this can be more motivating than praise or gratitude which typically are done after the fact. This is done at the beginning or in the middle.

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  3. A great point, Doug, and I do agree! I think that yes, for those I’m “in charge of,” I always give them this time. It’s actually when I learn the most about them: as thinkers and learners.

    Aviva

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