“Being busy does not always mean real work.
The object of all work is production or accomplishment
and to either of these ends there must be forethought,
system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose,
as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
— Thomas A Edison
Busy leaders don’t burden themselves with trivial pursuits, or do they? Well, if they’re a leader, we hope not, but as a person, it is a challenge to avoid. I love how John Wooden said it so succinctly: “Never mistake activity for achievement.” I first heard that from a salesman at an auto dealership who minored in philosophy and it has stuck with me ever since.
Procrastination is a natural result of trivial pursuit. As a leader, it is better and much more productive to avoid procrastination by making a conscious choice to avoid facing projects in front of us by choosing to do something else instead. There are all these decisions that need to be made, you know and we need to clear our head with some inactivity and peaceful reflection. Maybe a nap, or a movie. It’s not trivial, it is as the Zen calls it, mindlessness. It’s releasing ourselves from our toil to gain perspective, experience some peace, joy and love. Maybe a sauna, or a hot tub would work well too. Or, better yet, a massage! Then, for the seriously business oriented, 19 holes of golf, with that last hole being the watering hole where it’s easy to score.
Yes. All that busy-ness is for the underlings. We’ve got to make it look like something important is going on you know. . .
I tell you what: If you haven’t already, read John Adams by David McCullough. I have the long DVD documentary too, but the book is so much better (and the unabridged audiobook is even better still). What a full life. It is just amazing to consider it in light of my own full life. It really puts in perspective and opens my eyes to more focus and at the same time enjoyment in the process.
To say the common phrase that ‘leaders are readers,’ is an understatement. Leaders are learners. They are students. They are apprentices. They are gatherers. They are accumulators. They are sorters, weighers, disseminators, and builders. They lead because they cannot help but lead–even while making tough choices in activities.
Leaders Do Not Procrastinate. They Considerate.
Spread Some Joy Today–In the next few days, take a pursposeful time out. It need not be long, but purposeful. Vegitate a bit. See a movie in the middle of the day. We all need a doctor appointment here or there–for medical reasons, of course. . .