I wrote about focus time as a leadership quality and I have been thinking about it a lot. Learning is about action and focus time is one of those actions that has been eluding me during this portion of my leadership journey. So I started taking actions yesterday, small things that I know will have a large impact on my ability to focus throughout the day. Note that none of these things are groundbreaking, these are personally significant, but may lead to better focus for everyone, and they bridge the idea of focus between my personal and professional lives.
This last one is important to expound upon, so I will use one example to provide a bit more context: I’m a cook. Cooking is how I decompress at the end of the day, but my hobbies are often used as focus time. While I do something functionally significant for my family, I am able to review my day, think deeply about things I have yet to fully process, and see a project (a meal) to completion.
The reason I know I get deep thinking done during this hobby is when I don’t feel like cooking. If I’ve had a particularly rough day/week/year/pandemic, I simplify the cooking process, even if subconsciously, and the output isn’t the same. However, food is provided and my family gets nourishment. This is important from a leadership perspective because it points to motivators and output within inclusive environments.
As a leader, I am not here to provide motivation, especially at times when someone doesn’t want to do the things I am asking. As a leader, I am here to help align what my employees and stakeholders find intrinsically motivating with the my own and my organization’s goals. That idea is terribly freeing as a manager, but calls into question what motivates me, outside of activities that require specific locations (a kitchen) or a specific sets of tools that I am admittedly unable to carry around with me at any given time.
One other thing that I do to motivate me is walk or at the very least step outside. This has worked really well when trying to see things from a different perspective. Just getting outside and moving my body provides sufficient motivation and inspiration to get me moving in other ways. The social aspects to motivation are present in most hobbies as well; think about the following topics and questions as motivators for yourself and others within this context and perhaps note where your hobbies may lead to focus and motivation across contexts.
Posted: May 18, 2022
In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.