A fully self-aware person knows her faults as well as her strengths. Such awareness compels the self to acknowledge the dignity of others. Respect and self-respect fuel each other. They grow together. Grace is intentional. A reactive mind rarely manifests grace. While grace that has been shown to us comes freely, it requires effort for us to generate it ourselves.
Grace means rising above a perceived slight. Grace is often manifested in clarity of purpose and civility. Civility is a decision we make. They focus not on themselves, but on the needs of others—on healing. Gracious people have the capacity to forgive and show mercy. Gratitude enables compassion—both gratitude expressed and felt. We need to reframe our lives with a constant awareness of just how important feeling gratitude within ourselves is because it actually helps our overall well-being. Grace requires energy. In forgiveness, mercy, joy, and humor. When we demonstrate grace in our leadership, it spills into other areas of our life as well because it is an approach to life.
Our example encourages others to begin to think that way as well. Grace—in all of the dimensions Baldoni explores in this book—is a value that has fallen on hard times. It is time to revive it in our personal lives, in the workplace, social media, and in public discourse.
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Grace celebrates grace as well as advocates for it. Baldoni shares many examples of people from all walks of life who demonstrate grace in their lives. They are an inspiration to us all. Grace reduces the space between us. Our environment often pushes us into negativity; into the differences between us.
Grace intentionally overlooks the negative and leverages the positive. It finds the connection and promotes it. Baldoni breaks the often intangible idea of grace into down-to-earth actionable behaviors that we can all intentionally implement into our lives. You will find a self-assessment tool of 20 questions to help you take an honest look at how much you have allowed grace to fill your thoughts and behaviors. Charles Fred initiated a study of over post-startup business to find out why, after they had experienced early growth, had stagnated.
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What the researchers found is a problem in the way employees approached their roles, solved problems, and interacted with each other; poor-performing firms showed working environments of intense stress. Our culture baits us into a non-stop frantic pace with the inevitable unintentional behaviors.
Many leaders believe that they are just setting the bar for high performance. So, when we require mental acuity, we experience diminished recall.
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When we need sharp thinking and problem-solving, our minds are full. Into this environment, Charles Fred introduces a leadership discipline that inserts pause and calls it The 24 Hour Rule. Pause is not a delay but a discipline. It allows us to control how we respond and react to others, whether it takes five seconds or 24 hours. Most importantly, it does not delay our ambitions or dampen the need to hustle. Instead, we begin each day with unknown situations, variables well beyond our ability to plan and prepare. For these reasons, a leader must use self-discipline—the ability to mentally call a time-out, to get rest, to run through a checklist—despite overwhelming temptations to quickly react or respond without doing so.
It is the one thing we have complete control over. When we look at the highlight reel of successful people, it gives us the impression that they are always on—always producing. As we watch from the sidelines, we create for ourselves a false set of expectations.
We introduce unnecessary stress into our lives and work as we try to keep up. Top producers insert pause into their work. We need the self-discipline to do the same by letting go of a false ideal. The 24 Hour Rule is a well thought out and well-executed booklet. Fred provides three steps for building self-discipline around pause. It is a quick read but one that is worth spending some time thinking about.
Productivity is not about doing more faster. We undermine our potential when we try to do everything. Freedom to focus, Freedom to be present. Freedom to be spontaneous. Freedom to do nothing. To that end, Michael Hyatt presents in Free to Focus , 9 actions grouped into 3 steps.
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To start, you must stop. Formulate : What do you want your life to look like? What matters to you most. What does that look like for you? Evaluate : Where are you now? What should you be doing? Evaluate what you do and could do based on two key criteria: passion and proficiency. The desire zone is where your passion and proficiency intersect and where you can make the greatest contribution. Obviously, this is where you want to be functioning most of the time. Hyatt adds a fifth zone called the Development Zone.
This is an area where you are passionate about and developing a proficiency, or passionate about but not yet proficient. We need to evaluate all of our tasks and place them in the appropriate zone. Rejuvenate : Make time to rejuvenate. We can increase the energy we direct at our why when we sleep, eat right, move, connect, play, reflect, and unplug.
Eliminate : Every yes contains a no. Time is a zero-sum game. Then go find it. Delegate : Should I be doing this job at all? Tasks in your Drudgery and Disinterest Zones should be delegated. The items in your Distraction Zone may be harder to let loose of since you enjoy them even though you are not the most proficient at them. Better to give them over to someone who can do them much better. If you have more than you can handle in your Desire Zone, you should look at delegating some of those too.
So, while delegation does, in fact, take more time on the front end, it will save you an enormous amount of time every instance after that. Consolidate : Harness the power of MegaBatching. In those dedicated blocks of time, I truly am free to focus on the thing that matters most at that moment.
Designate : Decide what needs to be done now and what can be done later. Plan your ideal week. Designate the what and when of your week and day. Limit instant communications by turning off your notifications. Set boundaries by letting people know in advance that you are going offline for a period of time to focus. Use technology to block technology.
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