I’m a thinker by nature.

Sometimes I’ll think about an idea for weeks, maybe even months before I feel like it’s valuable enough to share and clear enough to communicate.

I think, research, plan, think, refine, clarify, think and rewrite until it’s finally ready for that moment of courage and excitement when I press publish.

And then there are moments like the 1st of May 2020.

As I sit sharpening my pencil an idea strikes. It’s not pre-planned, researched, or scripted (to be honest I wasn’t even sure it was that profound at the time).

I turn on my camera and record this 26 second thought.

You sharpen by removing not by adding. I reckon getting better isn’t just about what we’re getting more of. But it’s also about what we’re getting rid of.

tweet this

The longer I’ve reflected on it, the more I take from it.

In leadership, it’s easy get caught up in all the things we need to do more of. We don’t spend nearly enough time thinking about what we need to get rid of.

I read this quote by Peter Drucker in The Leading Edge by Holly Ransom that captures the idea brilliantly.

We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.

I’ve titled this next short series ‘The Art of Subtraction‘. I want to focus on some of those things leaders can do less to lead better.

A question to reflect on:
“What are some of the things I need to give up to help me step up?”