Claire writes: “A couple of weeks ago, we drove up to some roadworks and were met by a stop sign. The man holding it walked up to us and said ‘It’ll be 15-20 minutes and then you can go through’. We turned off the engine, got out of the van, walked around, took some photos of the scenery, he had his lunch… and eventually he turned his sign from STOP to GO SLOW and we drove onto the newly resurfaced road (in up country New Zealand).
Unexpected, and grateful we weren’t in a hurry to get anywhere, it was a great lesson in the value of stopping. Now we’re back to work – engaging with many leaders and managers who have no stopping room – and often no space between meetings to prepare, follow up or manage email – let alone reflect. Diaries that are full of meetings are over-full – which is why so many people end up taking work home or doing admin at night or weekends.
These workers recognised that they needed to do a good job back stage for the road to be useful. And they needed time. How can we support ourselves and people who work in our organisations to take time to do the back stage work that is needed for them to deliver on the front stage?
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