4 Reasons Leaders Need To Slow Down

Do you feel like you never have enough time? By the time you solve one business problem, another issue raises its ugly head. You never have enough time to slow down.

You may feel like you have to run around like the Flash from the Justice League. Rushing from one emergency to the other. Always taking on more and having less time to slow down.

Red and blue lines creating image blur

Photo by Fabio Ballasina

Slowing down may make you feel like a sloth. Just trudging along and never getting anywhere. You may believe slowing down will hinder your ability to lead. But that’s what I want to encourage you to do today. I want you to take a moment, take a deep breath, and slow down.

Even if it seems like there’s no way you can slow down, you can. Not only can you and should you, but you will also benefit from slowing down.

What Slowing Down Means

You may be wondering what does it look like for a leader to slow down. You may have never considered the idea. Yet when you look at slowing down, you will realize slowing down will help you and your organization.

Slowing down isn’t waiting until the last minute to make a critical business decision. It’s not putting aside truly important actions that will move your business forward. And it’s not passing the buck to someone else.

Slowing down means you’re creating a margin to breathe. You know there’s a value in taking your time to think through your current business process or an upcoming business decision. These things need time to look at the variables and then make a wise decision.

Slowing down also means you’re taking time for yourself and those in your organization. You know slowing down will help you in the long run. But how can you afford to slow down? When you see the benefits of slowing down, I think your question will change to “How can I not slow down?”

4 Reasons Leaders Need To Slow Down

1. Slowing down prevents leaders from burning out:

Burnout has become an epidemic with leaders. Because we push ourselves so much, we leave little margin for ourselves and our mental health. The lack of attention we pay to these areas of our lives often leads to burnout.

Carey Nieuwhof shares his story of burnout in this blog post. His experience is like many other leaders. He would work hard and push himself until he felt he was at the edge. He would then slowly pull back from the edge.

This led to a bout of depression and anxiety. These mental issues slowly crept in because of the propensity to not slow down.

Slowing down allows you the ability to step back. To say no. To get into a place of health again.

Take the time to slow down. It’ll protect your mental health and protect you from burnout.

2. Slowing down allows leaders to become more creative:

Do you want more ideas to lead your organization more effectively? You have to slooooow down to become more creative.

You need to slow down and clear your mind of all of the responsibilities you hold as a leader. Set those responsibilities to the side for an hour each week. Use this time to slow down and calm your mind.

Then begin to think about things that interest you. What makes you come alive? What have you always wanted to do but believed you couldn’t?

Think about these things. Slow yourself down and use this time to focus on you. Enjoy this time and use it to focus on the creative forces within you.

Now, here comes the fun part. Your creativity often fuels creative ideas for your business. As you slow down and stretch your creative muscles, your creativity unlocks ideas you can use in leadership.

Isn’t that awesome?

3. Slowing down allows leaders to notice those they lead:

You know leadership can be lonely. Leaders have to make difficult choices in private that impact those they lead. Did you know being a follower can be lonely as well?

It can. But you can stop the loneliness your team feels.

If you are willing to slow down, you will begin to notice those you lead. You can stop by their desk and strike up a conversation because you have finally seen them.

Noticing and acknowledging your team members will go a long way. They are longing to be noticed. You can do this by slowing down and interacting with them on a regular basis.

Stop flying by their desks as you storm into your next meeting. Instead, slow down and get to know them.

4. Slowing down allows leaders to make better decisions:

Have you ever made a bad decision only to realize the decision was made in haste? Yeah, that happens because we’re in a rush to get the next deal and make our organization profitable.

Taking time to slow down allows you the ability to look over important financial documents to see if this is actually a good idea. You’re also able to get to know those you may be entering into business with. Sometimes we rush into a business partnership because we believe we have to do it now.

Slowing down will allow you the ability to make better decisions. Take the time to slow down and make sure you’re making the best decision in your current situation.

Question: What are some other reasons leaders need to slow down? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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