It’s So Noisy
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Have you ever noticed how noisy it gets? It seems as though there is noise all the time. There was an episode of Hogan’s Heroes where a German physicist was trying to think, and with the war going on he couldn’t find a quiet place. Sound familiar?

A year ago in February I wrote an article about thinking, and I asked this question: How much time do you spend thinking? Seriously, how much time do you spend really thinking? Not regurgitating memorized data but truly allowing your mind to explore ideas and develop new thoughts. It seems that it is so hard to even find the time to sit silently and think.

In my article, I identified 3 steps that we need to follow to really think. Preparing for it, planning for it, and acting on it. I still believe that these are key to getting into the practice of thinking, but there is more, we need to find some solitude. Some peace and quiet to think. It’s just too noisy.

I am currently reading a book by Raymond Kethledge and Michael Erwin, titled Lead Yourself First:Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude. The book is filled with examples of world leaders who found the value in solitude. The following two examples jumped out at me.

Clarity – General Eisenhower used solitude to help think through the many challenges he faced during World War II. Perhaps his greatest challenge was the Normandy Invasion. He spent time each day alone working through the complex problems. Once he arrived at a decision, he would with great precision execute the plan.

Emotional Balance – Defence Secretary, General James Mattis says, “An effective leader is a person who can maintain their balance and reflect when a lot of people around them are reacting.” I frequently struggle in this area. In fact, this is one of the reasons I was drawn to this book. Solitude gives us the time to think through our own emotions and process them before they begin to take over. Please know that I am not an expert on this, but a novice just starting on this journey.

If this topic has spoken to you, there are eleven more areas referenced in Lead Yourself First so join Marisa and me on The Next Page podcast as we explore the topic further.

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