The Power of Pause

September 14, 2017

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As I started working on my blog earlier this summer, The Power of Pause, I decided I needed one!  


Selah.  I love the word.  Not only is it fun to say, it has a wonderful meaning.  Selah is found numerous times in the book of Psalms, and is thought to be a musical direction to pause, and/or think about what you just read or heard. 

Pausing is a practice I more intentionly put in place after reading a book, The Corporate Athlete.  A main concept in the book is to purposefully plan your recovery after a big event/game.  And doing so is a critical part of performing at your best. 

So I decided to take a pause this summer and slow it down after a very busy spring. While it wasn't a complete stop, it was a good pause.  

And while I paused, I also reflected.   
I looked back.   
Was I living the life I intended?   
Was I leading my work on purpose? 

It was similar to when you watch film after a big game.  And while I am far from an expert in the area of breaking down post-game film, I do know that slowing it down allows us to better assess the fundamentals.  The individual skills you've been practicing (intentionally or not), the plays you have been running (successfully or not), and the outcomes you have been achieving.  It's the breaking it down, so we can see what's working and what's not.  So we can see what needs to be adjusted or not. 

For me, this often isn't a comfortable place as in the past I tended to focus more on what was not working.  Additionally, I often internalized and or identified the problem with the person.  The less than perfect performance became a less than perfect person.  Problems were about people not things, and ultimately the WHO and the DO can get confused.  

It's the reason why this past spring I struggled putting together a short video of me leading a workshop.  After a few requests, I succumbed.  I didn't want to, but knew I had to.  It was painful going through 90 minutes of slow-mo video....back and forth time and again.  It exposed me, it made me vulnerable.  It once again proved I am far from perfect.  Thank God.  After years of trying to be perfect/trying to not make mistakes, I have given that up (mostly!)  I know now that fear of failure and fear of making mistakes makes me a less effective leader.

Slowing down this summer helped remind me of that.  Pausing and reflecting helps me do better next time.  So as this summer winds down and before the fall speeeds up to full gear, I hope you can create some space to do the same.  


If you missed the previous blogs in the summer series on management & leadership, no worries!  You can still read them:   What's Your Management Go-To Style?  and What I Know Now.

Kate Johnson
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