- "I can’t afford to relax because things are too busy right now."
- "With so many deadlines and demands, some priorities will have to be sacrificed."
- "It’s too crazy now; I’ll focus better once things settle down."
If these statements sound like you, you’ve likely entered what author Jesse Sostrin calls the danger zone, which he says is the place at which “shrinking resources and increasing demands stress our capacity to the breaking point.” It is also at this point that leaders find themselves pushed out into the weeds, an overwhelmed place where according to Sostrin, “it’s easy to get into reactionary mode where priorities get blurred by the fatigue of doing more with less.”
In a recent post for Leading Blog, Sostrin asserts, “The bottom line is that you can't lead if you’re lost.” So how do leaders get out of the weeds and return to the performance zone where they take a balanced approach to meeting demands and manage well again the challenges of the day?
Sostrin offers these recommendations for getting back on track:
- Determine your line of sight to focus on the right priorities.
- Distinguish your contribution to make a deeper impact.
- Plug the leaks in your time, energy and resources to restore your capacity.
- Convert your challenges to fuel and use everyday obstacles for good.
In the same way that weeds negatively impact the growth of a flower garden, they can prevent the growth of your leadership skills. So if you can, avoid getting the in the weeds at all.