Leaders Help Others Find Their Flow
Randy Wolken, President & CEO
Finding your flow is critical. Helping others find their flow is how leaders excel at their craft. How do you find yours? Finding it is the key to excellence and a life you want to lead. Learning how to find it, and going there frequently, may be the most important skill you will ever learn.
What is flow? Flow is when you are operating with confidence, joy, and great effectiveness and efficiency. It is when you are at your very best – and you are truly engaged and enjoying it. Who doesn’t want that?!
Everyone finds and uses their flow differently. However, there are certain characteristics and ways you can find how you gain flow and go their frequently. Learning this in your life is vital. I am convinced that finding flow today is as difficult as ever because of constant distractions. Here are some ways to find your flow.
Finding your flow starts with looking back at your life and discovering when you were in flow mode. If you have achieved it already, you can do it again – and again. When did you feel free, effective, timeless, alive, and living a life of meaning? This is flow! If you examine your days carefully, you will find times like this. They exist in your life – even for brief moments. Let me give you an example.
Just last week I was with a friend, Pam Murchison, Executive Director of Symphoria. We were discussing the future of Symphoria in Central New York. She was excited about creating a new approach to learning and leading. I was so eager to help, contribute, and learn from her. We chatted intently for about 45 minutes. The conversation seemed like forever – and also like it had just started. I looked at my watch – and apologized. I did not realize I had used so much of her precious time. She was neither annoyed nor upset. She too had seen the value of our time together. We were creative, alive, excited, and productive. I live for moments like this!
As I look back, what made it so much fun and productive? This is what I need to know so I can create more flow moments for me. Flow, for me, almost always involves doing something of meaning. It usually involves one or more other people – although I can get into flow all by myself (like I often do while writing this blog!). It is nearly always when I am serving or helping someone else. My life has to be more about others than it is about me. Then I know I am in flow.
How do I create flow in my day? I set times aside and look for ways – and people – I can help do meaningful things with and for. I look for ways to be invited into tough problems. I engage in dialogue in a spirit of helping. I leave when the other person needs to go – so they will want to engage in my flow at another time. If I make commitments, I seek to fulfill them. I find ways to build trust and flow together. This is how I do it. Now I know how to get flow and repeat it many times during my day – and life! You can find your flow as well.
When are you at your best – truly alive, in the moment, losing track of time, and doing something important to you and others? This is your flow! Find times when you can practice it and recreate it. How can you help others find their flow? Leaders help others find flow so that they can create great outcomes and have a great life! Be that kind of leader and you will have more friends, colleagues, and outcomes than you could ever imagine.