power of the pause

The Power of the Pause

To transform the way you lead, you must push the “Pause Button.”

When attorneys, police officers, firefighters, city directors and corporate leaders transition to a management position, we often initially lead by responding to every problem as if it is a crisis. We are accustomed to being in the middle of the action, on the ground level and we are wired to continue to react to issues as if we are in trial or literally putting out fires. Treating every situation as a crisis has the effect of diminishing our influence and reputation.  Calm confident leaders are the most influential.

Almost every gadget we own has a Pause button. We should lead as if we have a Pause button in our brains. When a new issue arises at work or even in your personal life:

  1. Stop and ask yourself is this something that needs my immediate attention? (Most of the time the answer is no.)
  2. If the issue does not require a quick response, then pause, don’t react or try to solve the problem in the moment.
  3. Schedule a time in the future that you will address the topic. Calendar when you will respond.
  4. Communicate to your team, “We are going to press Pause on that issue” and convey a time that you will address the topic.

Most of the time, when you decide to Pause and make the conscious decision not to be a reactionary leader, you will think differently about the problem as time has passed. It will give you a proper perspective.  Leaders who don’t react as if everything is a crisis and respond in a calm and confident manner are much more effective. There is so much Power in the Pause.

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