"Learning faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage in an environment of rapid change."
Arie deGues

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

Word count this issue: 374

Estimated reading time:  2:30 minutes


Hello from the Sunshine Coast of BC. There is a chill in the morning and evening air these days, and yes, I saw a leaf fall to the ground on my morning walk! 


There is an old Stephen King story called The Langoliers about creatures that eat the past, and are catching up to the present. In the TV miniseries of the same name, the sound crew created a most amazing sound that was somewhere between a crunch, a gnaw and a buzz to identify the rarely seen Langoliers. 


That sound has been the sound of the approaching busyness of Fall for me ever since. I’ve been doing my best here in Gibsons to find time for relaxation and rest (with varying degrees of success each day), as I work on preparing for the Fall’s schedule. I’ve been working with three principles to help me plan for the coming months, and I wonder if they might resonate with you.


  1. No one will die if I say “no”, or “not yet”. People might be frustrated or even angry that I am not able to respond to them as promptly as they’d like, but I have control only over my feelings, not theirs.
  2. My friend and colleague Peter Elliott has coined the phrase, “The Sacrament of First Commitmenthttps://thecathedral.ca/reflection-dean-peter-elliott-13/  He notes that if a commitment is in his calendar, then he will do all he can to keep that commitment, even if something more interesting or entertaining comes up. I have tried to live into that, even saying no to a more lucrative gig, because I had made a commitment to another client a month before.
  3. Sabbath time is vital; I need to build time in for re-creation (to use Stephen Covey’s emphasis on the syllables). It might be popcorn and TV show, reading an LR Wright murder mystery, or walking on the beach. Those times are as important as the gigs, because the re-juvinate, re-engage and re-fresh me.



I wonder what principles you use to prepare and live into busy times?