Every leader needs to make time to think.
The concept of "think time" is sound. I would prefer the term "reflection time," but call it what you will. it should be regularly scheduled because if it’s not, it will not occur. That’s a lesson I learned from the late Skip LeFauve, former senior executive at General Motors and president of Saturn. He said that, if you don’t put reflection time on your schedule, you will not do it.
Reflection, as Skip noted, does not need to be done alone. In fact, he would use the time to converse with a trusted aide to hash out issues of the day. Reflection by its nature is an echoing process, that is you are bouncing thoughts around, or words around if you are with another.
The challenge for executives is to make the time to reflect. But many with whom I have worked make the effort. They instruct their administrative assistants to schedule reflection time every week or at least twice weekly, for up to a half day at a time.
The challenge for anyone is to sift through what is being communicated for nuggets that can be integrated into useful knowledge.
Studying the issues is critical. Reflection is a time for such processing.
Reflection time is think time, and that's something all of us could us more of.
John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2018, Trust Across America honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Trust. Also in 2018, Inc.com named Baldoni a Top 100 Leadership Speaker. Global Gurus ranked him No. 22 on its list of top 30 global experts, a list he has been on since 2007. In 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 50 leadership experts. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”