REFLECTION & ACTION: Why did the chicken cross the road? Could it be that in her efforts to lay more eggs, the poor bird found herself spinning out of control? Caught up in a frenzy of flapping and fussing, she flew the coop and hit the highway – losing both her why and her way!
It happens. The flying feathers scenario reminds me of a cartoon that features an old-time manager mentoring a newcomer on the need to look busy in the workplace. The old-timer schools the novice in the fine art of rushing and paper-carrying, stressing both are vital to success in the ultramodern, ultrabusy workplace.
Given this mindset, it’s not surprising that Bruch & Goshal’s study of managerial effectiveness concluded that only 10 percent of the managers they studied spent their time in committed, purposeful, and reflective ways. Yikes!
According to these researchers, managerial effectiveness needs two things: (1) focus (targeted action and follow through) partnered with (2) energy (the vigor that comes with strong personal commitment). Distracted managers who pour great gobs of energy into poorly focused tasks confuse a frenzy of activity—such as briskly carrying papers—with purposeful action.
If you, like the poor misguided chicken or the managers studied by Bruch & Goshal, find yourself running off in all directions with little to show for it, flapping harder may not be your best approach. Slow down, check your position, consult your plan, and rethink your intentions.
Just those simple actions will help you avoid a chicken-with-its-head-cut-off approach to life. All flap, no focus! All fuss, no egg!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “There are some things I accomplish not by doing but by stopping doing. Creativity, intimacy, growing, and awareness, for example, will not emerge unless I take time out from many of the activities that keep me so busy.” – Anne Wilson Schaef
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: There’s nothing like a great quote to give you a new perspective on things. Browse through the collection of Insightful Time & Stress Quotes on the Pauseworks website. You just might find something that speaks to you.
READERS WRITE: Kathy L. writes: “My daughter, Chelsea, worked for a fast-food restaurant. She’s a cool, young lady who does what she needs to without fanfare. She’s efficient and a quick learner. When it came time for her first evaluation, she was shocked to discover she wasn’t going to get a raise. The reason? She didn’t look busy enough. She didn’t rush about; she walked instead of ran. Fortunately, she had another job, so she quit. With her dignity intact, she went to work for an employer interested in her output rather than her perceived activity level. How many workers did that restaurant train to look busy rather than be efficient and stay cool?”
Editor’s Footnote: Since it received such a positive response last year, once again during the months of July and August, your weekly Pause will feature nine messages from the ‘Best Of Pause’. These are readers’ favorite messages from the earliest years of the Pause e-zine.
Featuring these Pause Gems will give me a bit of a breather to regroup, research, and develop some great new material. It will also introduce our more recent subscribers to some of those early ideas. The art from the Pauseworks Studio will continue to include all new images each week.
Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to the list, I sincerely hope you enjoy these gems. Have a wonderful summer. I’ll be back again in September with your regular Pause format featuring all new info and resources.