Slow Leadership

It’s rare that a blog entry can be excerpted to both my business and church related blogs – but this one seemed to hit the mark. It appears today on Daily Episcopalian in full.

Slow leadership is gaining popularity. It is part of the Slow movement which approaches life with balance. The Slow movement seeks to take control of time rather than allowing the busy-ness of life to control time. It encourages finding a balance between using timesaving technology and taking the time to enjoy a walk or a meal with others. Proponents believe “that while technology can speed up working, eating, dating, etc. the most important things in life should not be rushed.”

Slow leadership helps leaders reflect fully on what needs to be done. Then they commit to giving those things whatever time they deserve to do them properly. Instead of reacting to everything immediately, Slow leaders prioritize and schedule activities.

Slow leadership is not about always getting things right but recognizing the power of choice both to act and not to act. In one of the newsletters from Slow Leadership, Getting it wrong to get it right, the author says,

Getting it right, in work or life, nearly always involves a great deal of getting it wrong as well. Success depends critically on how you face up to failure, take the lesson it offers, and start again. Opportunities missed are usually gone forever. The road not taken never shows up on the map again. That’s why rushing through life, obsessed with conventional success and fixated purely on material gain, may produce riches and fame, but very often misses out on happiness and contentment.
The New Testament of Christians asks: “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?” You only have one trip around the sun. Use it well, or lose the chance of living and learning forever.

It is easy in this age of technology to be distracted by the amount of information available. Communications are instant and there is pressure to respond instantly. Multi-tasking is praised although it has been shown that those who multi-task have little retention of information. One of the discoveries of “Slow” is that people actually accomplish more when they schedule their work time and don’t allow interruptions when focusing on a task. There is little time for reflection unless we make space for it.

One of the ways that reflection can be enhanced is through the use of a daily visual map, – based on one that illustrates one’s wider priorities. You won’t hit every aspect of the wider map every day. But visiting it daily reminds one of the bigger picture and actually encourages slowing down.