"It is possible that people need to believe that they are unmanaged if they are to be managed effectively."
John Kenneth Galbraith

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 326

Estimated reading time:  2.45 minutes


Happy New Year, and I wish us all a healthy and prosperous 2016.


I’ve had a very busy few weeks. My 87 year old Mum broke her hip. She’s back in her residence and is recovering, but the old girl has taken quite a hit with the break, the surgery and the drugs. A new program with the Neuroleadership Institute is occupying much of my time in learning. Family time was stretched thin, sometimes but we managed, and of course the joyful madness of Christmas at Christ Church Cathedral and 4,000 folks in 24 hours! All of this has got me thinking about rest. 


The science is clear, we need rest and down time. http://www.davidrock.net/files/02_The_Healthy_Mind_Platter_US.pdf While small numbers of us require more or less, the average person needs about 8 hours of sleep in 24, including naps. We also need down time, that is time for daydreaming, and just ‘chilling’ on a regular basis for our brains to work most effectively. In the midst of heightened busyness in business this is a very important challenge to the status quo. When was the last time you responded to the question, ‘how are you doing?’ with the words, ‘just chillin’’? Most likely you’ve at least felt compelled to provide a narrative about how busy you are. (See the first paragraph!)


You see, I also went for walks. I slept in, often. I chilled. And it was good.


Here are three things you can do, starting right now to help your brain do the required processing during sleep and down time.


  1. Don’t look at a screen for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. 
  2. Leave your devices in another room at night. 
  3. Use a timer on a device to give yourself a few 1 - 2  minute breaks where you can day dream, or simply explore your own breathing.


And remember, your family probably appreciates the gifts that your hard work produces, but they (and you) are far more interested in your presence and engagement with them.