When you have to provide leadership that requires emotional labor, it’s natural to want to walk away a bit and distract yourself. This, however, for leaders that are non-confrontational, is the main activity, which is to avoid the real work that has to be done.
One useful practice is to have forced choices that break up the work but that are also productive. We either need to be developing a new way to adapt or a new way to equip our selves to continue forward movement. The key is that it be something both important and productive.
There are three core values that I use to guide my decision-making, especially when I recognize that I’m avoiding rather than confronting. What I care about whom I choose to interact, or what I choose to participate in is that it’s:
- Simple, in order for everyone to understand.
- Relevant, which means it has to matter.
- Compelling, which means it has to make a difference.
If what I’m focused on doesn’t meet those three criteria, then I’m saying ‘no.’
Truth be told, it helps turn every distraction into a contribution, which is so much more fun and productive.