When I came from work today around six, I was pretty tired. Not surprising since I didn’t get my afternoon nap. Office …
I figured that a short break will do the trick: black tea, dinner and an episode of Billions. At seven, I was even more tired. OK, an hour nap maybe?
Noupe at eight, I was still in no mood to finish the draft of the newsletter. I had most of this newsletter finished, but polishing that draft just didn’t feel right. At least today.
I said, screw it. I’ll just read and wrap up the day.
Then it clicked. By the time I finished reading Managing in the Gray, I had the outline of the newsletter in my head.
So often we push forward on something for which we aren’t in the right state of mind. We neglect that the world isn’t black and white. It’s mostly gray. In most situations, we need to compromise. We solve the easy problems in a heartbeat and lose sleep over the gray ones.
There’s nothing wrong with losing some sleep over such problems. It just means we care about the outcome and are willing to find the best possible compromise. But we shouldn’t wait too long.
Some situations are loose-loose. The outcome will suck anyway we spin it. The question is just which outcome we are willing to live with. Most of the time, the longer we postpone the decision the issue gets only worse and more unbearable.
In the book Managing in the gray author mostly talks about decisions leaders have to take, and what thought process they should follow. But the gist of the book boils down to five key questions:
Those questions perfectly apply to team management, and I have to admit the questions as such are the best tool you’ve got. As a leader, you’re not faced with the easy problems with a clear solution. But the gray ones. The ones that need compromise.
But the above questions also apply to personal management. Especially What can I live with?
There’s one thing that can help us decided what we want to live with:
So when faced with the gray problem in professional or personal life:
It’s the best you can do.
I always believed that if we aren’t capable of leading ourselves, we have no right to lead a team.
In situations when I was a mess, I tried to avoid leadership roles. Cases where I ended in the leadership role anyway, didn’t end up well for all parties involved. That’s on me.
Truth is that leading and aligning our selves requires hard and consistent work. Others said it better than me:
There are three Things extremely hard, Steel, a Diamond and to know one’s self. Benjamin Franklin.
We learn who we are every day with the decisions we make. The only thing that keeps is in check are the questions others pose to us, and the questions we pose to ourselves. So reflect and expose your ideas and thoughts to others.
Being in the office has its perks. I still need some time to completely re-adjust, but it’s nice to leave the office and leave the work behind for the day. Not something one can say for the home office.
This week I’ll try to spend even more of my downtime reading and reflecting instead of monkeying around the web. What about you? What will you experiment with?
If you find a typo, have a comment or have an idea for improvement shoot me a message. 😉
Till the next weekly experiment.
P.s. If you like the newsletter, share it. 😉