This is an excerpt from The Simple Leader: Personal and Professional Leadership at the Nexus of Lean and Zen
I will take time to be quiet. In this silence I will listen…
and I will hear my answers.
– Ruth Fishel
We live chaotic lives, often surrounded by noise and commotion. We deal with kids, coworkers, traffic, and the barrage of thoughts in our own minds. We move constantly, almost as a way to show that we’re active and productive.
What would happen if you just sat and listened? If, in the middle of the chaos, you were simply quiet and still? How would you, your team (or family) react? How would it impact your perception (and reality) of strength, wisdom, and confidence? How would it help you to understand yourself and help others to grow?
There is a power that comes from stillness and quietude. Pausing actually adds information and context to our lives. Being quiet calms us, and then calms others. A quiet leadership style provides the time to observe, contemplate, connect, and focus, both on the world around us and within on our own thoughts.
My wife and I try to make time for being quiet. When we are together, we regularly discuss the activities of our day and upcoming decisions we need to make. But we’ll also sit on a beach or enjoy breakfast on the porch together, observing the world in silence. The silence actually creates an emotional bond between us, strengthened by quietly sharing the nature around us.
Be still, be quiet, and observe what is happening around you.