A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Before I started the leadership journey, I was doing a lot of just that. Wasting a lot of my time and mind focusing on the immediate, the unimportant, the routine tasks that certainly were not going to make a significant difference in creating, influencing, or advancing the strategic mission and goals of the university.
In previous Tuesday Readings we have focused on the importance of planning, on being intentional about how we use our time, and on the importance of regularly moving items from our one To Do list to our calendar.
In a recent essay, “Beyond Bias,” which is today’s Tuesday Reading, Heidi Grant Halvorson and David Rock wrote:
“Biases are nonconscious drivers – cognitive quirks – that influence how people see the world. They appear to be universal in most of humanity, perhaps hardwired into the brain as part of our genetic or cultural heritage, and they can exert their influence outside conscious awareness. You cannot go shopping, enter a conversation, or make a decision without your biases kicking in.
My take on an application of a topic from our first session.
The Unicorn Meeting
We all attend too many meetings. Some are initiated by others and we attend to contribute. And some are our meetings, designed to further our team’s work. Some of them are productive and some are not. And, everyone I’ve talked to yearns for fewer of them.
Today’s Tuesday Reading, I Sit Too Much, should actually be titled “I Sit Too Much and So Do You.”
Researchers agree that we all sit far too much, about 10 hours per day – hours at the desk, focused on the computer screen, reading and writing emails, working on reports, eating lunch, in meetings, in front of the TV, surfing the web, playing video games, etc. For comparison, we sleep about 7.7 hours each day. The number of hours sitting is about 40% (4 hours) too large, and researchers argue that individual action is urgently needed.
Who hasn’t had one? No milk for the cereal. A tanker truck cut you off as you were driving to work. Joe wasn’t prepared for the meeting. Sam’s presentation wasn’t aligned to the audience. Stuff happens, and it usually leads to a foul mood.
And, as I’ve been told many times, you have to learn how to turn lemons into lemonade.
Our Tuesday Reading today is drawn from Robert Steven Kaplan’s new book, What You Really Need to Lead. Kaplan was recently named President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Previously he was the Martin Marshall Professor of Management Practice and a Senior Associate Dean at the Harvard Business School.
Today’s Tuesday Reading, The Balance of Planning and Spontaneity – What We Can Learn From Bilbo Baggins’s Journey Through Mirkwood, comes from the pen of David Kaplan – writer, software developer, and all around thinker of wacky thoughts. It was published on medium.com in their Life Hack: Your Story, Experience, etc. blog which shares the life story and experience of a number of writers.