I’m in Transition; How Do I Choose a New Path (What is Right, Part 5)

In part four of this What is Right series (here) I mapped out a five-step decision for thinking through big, and potentially life-altering, decisions. As I start this post I am reminded of a favorite quote, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.” Since some may struggle a bit when attempting to apply principles to practical situations, I thought I’d provide an example of applying this decision process to a practical situation almost any reader of this blog will face one or more times during their professional career.

Scenario: I am a professional in transition and faced with crafting a strategy to search for income. How do I apply the What Is Right decision process to my search? I don’t pretend the suggestions below cover every situation, but they will help you get started.

1. Is there a reigning principle of natural law in play? How is my search target (the business I would start or join) aligned with natural laws? Said another way, does the product or service which is the outcome of my profession have redeeming social value? Does that product or service contribute to society’s overall health and/or wealth or at least not contribute to moral decay? Does my prospective employer or partner(s) have a reputation for honesty and fairness–are they worthy of my trust?

2. What prior commitment(s), if any, effect(s) my choice or a new job or career? Have I made commitments to my family which should limit or constrain my professional alternatives? Would the job involve relocation, hours and/or travel which would preclude my follow through on existing commitments? Have I made previous financial commitments that require a certain level of income to fulfill? Have I made previous commitments in the community that should impact my decision?

3. What career path or job opportunity most aligns with my life purpose and goals? Is continuing down this professional path consistent with my life purpose or calling? Do I feel a passion for this type of work? Is my search target appropriate for my current season of life? Would this path or opportunity help me advance to or achieve certain long-term goals?

4. What Relationships could impact or be impacted by my choice? Whom do I know that could assist me in landing a desired professional opportunity? What people in my network have walked this same path and could provide me wisdom from their experience. Who is affected by my choice? What are their related desires or concerns? What people might move into or out of my circle of influence if I change companies or communities? How and where might my circle of influence expand or contract based on the professional alternatives in front of me? Whom might I teach or from whom might I learn along different professional paths?

5. What is Reality? Do external threats encourage or compel me to make a professional change? Should I change companies, functions, levels, industries, communities or careers? What are the odds for a successful transition if I change three or more of those at once? Do I have a distinctive and compelling professional story that aligns with the opportunity I’m pursuing (because the question is often not can I do the job, but will somebody hire me to do the job)? Do I have the talents and experience necessary to succeed? Is my prospective industry or employer growing, stable or declining? Turnaround specialists jump into sinking or floundering businesses all the time, but they both know what they’re getting into and how to get out of it. I may want to accept a position of lesser responsibility and compensation as a way of getting in the door, but what are the realistic odds of getting to my target compensation level in a timely manner? If I’m starting a business, do I have the financial reserves to carry my family and the business until the latter starts generating sufficient cash flow.

I’d be interested in hearing from readers your reactions to this decision-making model or ideas for other approaches you’ve found successful.

Relationships & Reality Matter (What is Right, Part 4)

Writing has long been a mechanism for me to mentally, emotionally and spiritually process issues, which is one of the reasons I initially began blogging. However, one of the challenges about blogging a multi-part series is that my mind continues to learn from new perspectives that change previous posts. This post is a direct consequence of that process.

During the past few weeks I had the privilege of a conversation with Gary Smith, a friend and fellow member of a CEO peer advisory group in which I formerly participated. Smith shared some powerful insights that expanded and enriched the step-by-step decision process I originally articulated in part two of this What is Right? series (here).

As a quick recap of that earlier post, when faced with a decision for which the best course of action is initially uncertain or ambiguous step through the following questions in order:

1. Is there a reigning principle of natural law in play? These are decisions where there is a universally applicable (although often not universally accepted) right versus wrong.

2. What prior commitment(s), if any, effect(s) my choice? These might be commitments of belonging (i.e. open-ended commitments we have made to others) or commitments of action (i.e. commitments to specific behaviors and/or deliverables).

3. What choice most aligns with my life purpose and goals (for this season of life)? In a secular environment we might call this a mission statement. In a spiritual context this is often termed a calling.

After my conversation with Gary Smith, I’m inclined to add two steps:

4. What Relationships could impact or be impacted by my choice? As an engineer, great ideas grab my attention. However, life experience has taught me that absent relationships even the best ideas die quickly or go nowhere. Why? Great ideas involve a diversity of skills and a depth of complexity over which no single individual can hope to have mastery. Relationships help us foresee issues that would otherwise trip us up. Relationships expand our minds and hearts to possibilities we would otherwise ignore. Relationships solve problems that would otherwise stymie progress. Relationships tap into resources without which a great idea would otherwise starve. Relationships lend us courage without which we might otherwise succumb to fear and doubt. Relationships leverage the power of shared passion without which we would otherwise give up.

5. What is Reality? Before we forge ahead into any new endeavor we must frankly confront reality. Do the numbers and other assumptions make sense? Test the math. Does the desired objective rely upon outcomes aligned (or wholly at odds) with historical norms? Bottom line…We must count the cost.

In part five of this series, we will take this What is Right? process and apply it to a practical situation that is confronting or will eventually confront readers of this blog.

Binary Thinking. What is Right? (Part 3)

This is Part 3 in a series on “What is Right?” (How to decide when the choice isn’t obvious). Part 1 (here) identified seven filters (tools) that can help you choose right. Part 2 (here) outlined a simple three-step thought process for applying those tools. This post describes a subtle, but potentially dangerous trap into which we often inadvertently fall. I call it the “Binary Decision Trap.”

In short, the Binary Decision Trap frames questions around issues with only two possible answers – yes/no, start/stop, go/stay, etc. Without denying the presence in life of authoritative questions involving right and wrong, we too often allow binary thinking to constrain our alternatives and thereby eliminate a vast array of potential outcomes which might enrich our lives. I want to quickly explore three perspectives around binary thinking. Why do we submit to, or even prefer, binary thinking? The consequences of binary thinking? And, how to avoid binary thinking?

Why we fall into binary thinking?

It’s simple. Binary thinking enables us to address the increasing complexity of our world. We quickly narrow our thinking to one alternative and frame it as a go/no-go, good/bad, us/them choice.

It’s easy. Admittedly, some decisions are substantially less consequential and deserve an easy decision process. However, we must guard against lazy thinking that allows decisions of import to drift into binary thinking mode.

Competitive mindset. The competitive nature of American culture cultivates a mindset that frames the world in binary terms—winners and losers. We especially see this happening in the political arena where players from all political persuasions leverage and twist every action and statement for advantage—whether to lift its own party or tear down others. When our minds and emotions get bombarded daily with win/lose dialogue it seeps unaware into every aspect of our lives.

Scarcity mentality. People with a scarcity mentality automatically default to “either/or” thinking. Their fixed-pie worldview condenses every issue into haves and have-nots; givers and takers; and winners and losers.

Consequences of Binary Thinking

Law of Unintended Consequences. We get surprised. Striving for simplicity causes us to devalue or neglect context. We naively consider inconsequential and ignore whatever caused the current situation. We also fail to speculate about the impact our choice may have on the future.

Polarization occurs. Binary thinking divides us. Advocates for either side of a binary decision quickly fracture into separate camps and harden their positions. Rather than facing off against the issue advocates face off against each other.

Extremes get amplified. Oversimplification and polarization make it easy to believe that more is better (or worse).

Arguing replaces dialogue. Binary choices drive stakeholders to choose a side too early in the thought process. Once we’ve chosen a side, we feel compelled to defend that choice. The dialogue which naturally accompanies a spirit of open inquiry gets supplanted by the argumentation which flows from a mind closed to other alternatives.

Winning replaces learning. Binary thinking encourages a win-lose mentality. Our thought process narrows to alternately selling or defending our position. Our energy gets consumed in advocacy and leaves no mental capacity for learning.

Identity crises. In extreme cases, we even let our identity get allied with our choice. At that point, our ego enters the equation, and we lose perspective. Rather than a dispassionate search for the best solution, we engage our intellect and emotion in self-defense. As an aside, this reminds me of one of the best pieces of business advice I ever received; namely, “Never get so closely identified with your position (on an issue) that when it goes down, you go down with it.”

Avoiding Binary Thinking

What practical steps can we take to avoid binary thinking?

  1. First, and most importantly, actively seek the best alternative; frame the issue as “ What is the best/wise thing to do?” Consider a variety of alternatives and mentally condition yourself to avoid staking out a position too early when faced with an important decision.
  2. Take time to consider context. How did I/we get in this situation? How have my own choices influenced the present? How have external factors contributed to present circumstances? What is driving current behaviors—My own and others? What’s changing around me that could make the future different from the past?
  3. Consider consequences. Invest time in contemplating what-if scenarios. I will discuss in a future post the fourfold test I use.
  4. Consider all the stakeholders. Who is affected by this decision? Ideally seek their input and perspective, but at a minimum reflect on how the various alternatives will impact them.
  5. Actively seek different points of view. There is wisdom in many counselors. Look beyond the circle of stakeholders. Listen and learn from those who have walked the path before you. Seek input from subject matter experts. Sound out the wise people in your life.

A shout out to Eric Jackson whose May 2004 column in LocalTechWire.com introduced me to the concept of binary thinking.

Now What? Stop Doing > Return to Being

Now What? At the end of any intense period of life this question confronts us? You may have recently been laid off, completed a huge project, closed a big deal, sent your child off to college, or suffered any number of major life dislocations. The periods preceding these life events can often be so defining or consuming that their absence leaves a troubling void.

How should we react during these personal voids? This much is certain; how we respond during such voids determines the course of our remaining life. We can wallow in pity, or we can make them times of rejuvenation that restore and prepare us for what lies ahead. The key is using this respite from doing to return to being. Let me suggest three phases for responding to a void in our lives.

Remember — Return to your core purpose for living. Remind yourself of the guiding principles upon which you have chosen to order and direct your life, family or business. This will likely involve investing significant time in rereading and revisiting passages, people and places that have previously inspired you. Set aside a private space for this remembering time. This is a great time to write out (or update) a personal mission statement.

Reflect — Significant people reflect on the past to learn from it, not wallow in it. Condemnation is unhealthy. Convictions are empowering. Evaluate where your recent life/work aligned with or wandered away from your guiding principles. Identify triggering events or behaviors that helped you stay aligned or caused you to wander off the track. Examine each relationship in your life and ask whether that relationship challenges and encourages the fulfillment of your purpose or distracts from it. Reflect (and possibly even solicit input) on the impact my life has had on others. It is impossible to over emphasize the value of capturing your reflects in writing. Making time to write down what you’ve learned both crystallizes that learning in your own heart and mind and also creates an invaluable resource for Remembering during future life voids. On a personal note, this blog is one of the ways I am recording that thought process in my own life.

Renew — At this point in the thought process we should face forward and ask the following three questions in my core being and each major role in my life:

  1. What am I committed to continue?
  2. What should I eliminate, quit or stop?
  3. Where do I want to learn, grow or start?

Apply each question to your private world (body, mind and spirit) and every role in the public world; such as, spouse, parent, sibling, friend, neighbor, citizen, volunteer, student, profession, or employee/employer, etc.

I’d like to give a shout out to @JonStallsmith for his talk on Nehemiah 8-10 from which arose the core ideas in this blog post.

Plants & the 5 E’s of Building Effective Teams

Seeds contain the information necessary to germinate, grow and reproduce. However, absent the amounts of soil, air, water, and sunlight most appropriate for that species, the seed may fail at any point along its maturation cycle. We can reduce the risk of failure and multiply the eventual yield by preparing the soil, planting at an appropriate time, cultivating the field during the growth phase and harvesting at the most opportune time. These external factors do not change the basic capabilities of the seed; however, they will heavily influence the quality and quantity of the harvest.

This intelligent design from nature provides us a wonderful example for building effective teams. Akin to the information encoded in seeds, the people on your team bring to any effort certain raw talents and capabilities. Similarly, certain external environmental elements of the organizational culture will influence whether individuals flounder or flourish.

My leadership experience has distilled five environmental elements leaders must provide to build effective teams.

1. EXPECTATIONS. At the broadest level, we establish expectations by painting our vision and defining the mission for the organization. At the project or team level, we define success in terms of desired outcomes. In other words, we identify where we’re going without getting into “how” the team should accomplish those objectives. Equally important, we set boundaries for acceptable behaviors in terms of the values and culture which will define the character of the team.

2. EQUIP. Provide the resources necessary to achieve the expectations. These resources commonly fall into four buckets

  • Talents – Staff the team with the necessary blend of talents; identify other resources (such as subject matter experts) available to the team
  • Tools – Allocate suitable amounts of money, equipment, space, software, etc.
  • Techniques – Define and inculcate reusable standard methods and processes into the daily habits of the organization; particularly around problem solving and reporting
  • Training in the skills needed to effectively leverage the available tools and techniques

3. ENABLE. Emotionally prepare the team for the challenge. This emotional element is crucial for building self-reliant teams that are not constantly running back to you for guidance or encouragement. Effective emotional preparation addresses at least these three components:

  • Define success so people know it when they see it. Defining success establishes a built-in course correction mechanism that allows the team to adapt to the inevitable surprises of any human endeavor
  • Clarify why it’s important to get there. Understanding not just “what” (the expectations) but “why” equips the team to deal with ambiguity which arises in the course of the journey. Whenever possible anchor “why” messages to the broader organization’s vision and mission.
  • Explain the challenge (“what will it take”). Understanding the scope and scale of the challenge prepares team members to mentally and physically calibrate themselves for the journey. This is especially true if the challenge will impose upon their private lives. Anyone who’s done open road running or cycling knows the frustrations of struggling to reach the crest of the rise only to discover the hill continues.

4. EMPOWER. The crucial element of empowerment is transferring ownership for the objective. Ownership involves two elements—transferring authority and establishing accountability. Transferring authority to accomplish the objective(s) means transferring relevant decision-making. If you’ve effectively defined expectations, the team will already know the measures of accountability, but also establishing the method of accountability (when and how the team reports on its progress) creates a healthy transparency and makes interventions an exception. If you find your team frequently seeking guidance or clarification, look first to your ineffectiveness in enabling, equipping and setting expectations.

5. EMBRACE. Once you have empowered the team be available but resist the natural urge to jump in and start dictating solutions. These disempowering actions will rapidly deflate the team and make you the chokepoint. Remain resolute. Adversity will come. Expect it and commit to remain in a coaching mode. Spend more time questioning and listening than talking (take a lesson from the LEAN leader practice of going to the gemba). It is important to display consistency in your behaviors, because unpredictability will undermine your credibility.

I Hired Your Resume, But Unfortunately I Got You*

In the early days of moving pictures marketers quickly discovered the power of subliminal messaging. The human mind could subconsciously register a single image embedded within a movie projecting 24 frames per second. This advertising method gained favor among marketers, because it induced higher response rates among viewers than overt advertisements. The Federal Trade Commission deemed subliminal messaging deceptive advertising and outlawed it in the USA during the 1970s.

Repeated studies suggest that hiring managers are often heavily influenced by the subliminal power of first impressions. Too many of us will unconsciously make a go / no-go hiring decision in less time than it takes to watch a Super Bowl commercial. At that point, Confirmation Bias kicks into gear, and we spend the interview looking for things to affirm our initial subconscious impression.

Of course, you are smart enough to avoid that trap, or at least that’s what you tell yourself. However, unless you have a solid plan, you will end up looking at all the wrong things in all the wrong places when the time arrives to make your next hire.

Over the years I have often joked that a hiring interview is like a first date. We instinctively know that first impressions are important. We stand in front of the mirror to make sure we have the look just right. We apply extra diligence to observing social courtesies. We tell stories about our respective pasts with a focus on the positive. We talk about people we know, places we’ve been and events we’ve experienced. These fact-oriented discussions often do not tread into more sensitive topics; such as, why we act the way we do and what drives us.

Resumes reinforce this backward-looking, surface-level focus. In fact, the Latin root of resume means “to summarize” and “take back.” In other words, a resume summarizes the “what” of my past. When and where I worked. What I accomplished. A typical resume provides no sense of context; i.e. the external business environment, internal culture or surrounding talents and resources in which the candidate worked. The resume also gives no insights into the innate talents the candidate may have leveraged to deliver the results.

Granted, it’s important to understand the external/internal environments in which the candidate formerly worked, if for no other reason than establishing context for evaluating past accomplishments, but your environment is different to some extent than the candidate has previously experienced and changing all the time. However, the constant in this equation is the candidate’s talents. These raw abilities follow the candidate everywhere. When you hire a candidate you don’t get their past. Rather, you get their talents.

Unless you recognize this crucial distinction you may risk repeating the mistake of the hiring manager who lamented, “I hired your resume, but unfortunately what I got was you.”*

So, what talents are important? Most unique hiring factors are usually acquired skills (software coding) or related experiences (startups, R&D, finance, consumer goods, etc.). Talents typically have more universal applicability across projects, jobs and time. To illustrate the point, here’s a list of targeted talents I developed during my last startup:

1. Integrity. Managing becomes easy when I can count on people to say what they mean and follow through on their commitments. You don’t need lots of policies and rules if you hire people with integrity. You can trust them to do the right thing.

2. Intelligence. Experience is a weak substitute for raw intellectual horsepower. The business environment is constantly changing, and we wanted people with the smarts to solve the problems we don’t even know about yet.

3. Initiative. It is always easier to guide something in motion. Organizations waste tremendous amounts of energy just overcoming static inertia and moving into action. Besides, it is just plainly more fun to work with people who are willing to pitch in to solve problems.

4. Inquisitiveness. It is the best “I” word I identified to describe people who are curious about life and constantly looking for better ways to do things. Without people like this on the team, continuous improvement remains a theoretical concept.

In closing, here are some tips for integrating “hiring for talent” into your own culture:

  • Identifying the core talents and traits most important to your business culture takes time and careful thought; This may require researching the traits of successful people who have done similar work
  • Describe your target talents in writing–make your target hiring profile tangible; if not, we subject every hiring decision to the vague and subconscious biases of individual hiring managers
  • Develop methods for identifying and hiring people with your target talents…that’s the topic of the last blog post in this three-part “Hiring for Talent” series.
  • Talk about your target talents often; make them a visible part of your culture
  • Publicize and celebrate the linkage between those talents and the extraordinary results they produce
  • Align your reward system with your target talents

* Source, Jay Jordan in “Who” by Geoff Smart and Brad Street, pg 6

Don’t Spin Your Tires

My project is stuck. My team is under performing. We are falling behind the competition. We are missing our earnings projection. Why? What is the problem? Where do I start?

There are five discovery factors an effective leader must assess before launching any countermeasures to get a project/team/business back on track.

Before I proceed, please understand that I strongly support using one of the powerful problem-solving methodologies developed and rigorously field-tested over the past several decades; including the Lean Plan-Do-Check-Act or the Six Sigma Design-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control. Those methods define a series of effective process steps for continuous improvement. However, they do not tell you where to start. While the discovery nature of those methodologies and related tool sets would eventually discover the root cause of your team’s poor performance, the urgency of the business situation typically allows for few, if any, false starts.

Even the best processes perform more efficiently (i.e., quickly uncover the root cause) when we seed or start the process by first assessing the most likely problem areas. If you discover oil in your car’s radiator (as we did recently in our household), it is a waste of time investigating the car’s electrical system. Instead, you will focus attention on the automobile fluids and look for sources of cross-contamination.

Where do I start when my project/team/business is under performing? Two fundamental principles undergird the elements and sequence of the five discovery factors I have developed and used over the years; one, people want to do a good job; and two, the selection of your team heavily influences the fate of your team/organization/business.

So, what are those five elements? Where should we begin an evaluation to identify the root cause of under performance?

  1. Talent. Do we have the right players on the team? Even the most well-intentioned person will fail in certain circumstances. I watched the movie “Lone Survivor” with my son last night and was again struck by the realization that there is no way I could become a Navy Seal. Their combination of mental and physical determination makes them a breed apart.
  2. Target. This is a combination of strategy and priorities. In short, are we working on the right stuff? If a particular baseball game requires the team to play “small ball,” but my batters are all trying to hit a home run, that’s a problem. If I am spending my team’s resources on improving the distribution system when we have a problem of product quality, we are focusing on the wrong target. The more typical problem is that everything is a priority, which means nothing is a priority.
  3. Tactics. Evaluate our processes. Do individuals or teams use their own work methods? Are performance standards widely deployed and rigorously tracked? Do we have documented processes for performing repetitive functions, including how to solve problems? Do we have documented processes that we frequently ignore?
  4. Training. Do we explicitly know the skills (as distinct from talents) necessary for high-performance in a particular project or organization? Do we know how team members’ skills align with those success factors? Have we provided appropriate training to fill in the gaps or cross-training to build sufficient depth and enhance flexibility.
  5. Time. Is the team investing enough time? More bluntly, are they working hard enough? This factor is intentionally last, because the answer to a business problem is rarely work harder. However, there are circumstances where solution requires working faster and longer. So, don’t ignore it.

The next time you find your team stuck, pull out this list and use it to start your own assessment of why the team is spinning its tires.

 

 

The Unequal Nature of Egalitarian Time

The world isn’t fair. Personal, corporate, community and national assets are not distributed equally. Intelligence, wealth, and power may vary greatly from individual to individual. Yet, the life distance we measure as a day travels equally for every person on earth. This same window of time is available to all; regardless of individual intelligence, wealth, health or power. However, in retrospect we can see that some periods during our life or business were dramatically more impactful than others. While the seconds, minutes, hours and days marched on at a rigid pace, not all days presented the same opportunity window.

A former business leader of mine once said that for a stable business with modest growth a year is a year. However, a business experiencing fast growth must treat every quarter as a year and every week as a month; and a business experiencing hypergrowth must respect every month as a year and every week as a quarter. In other words, time is egalitarian (i.e. there are 24 hours in every day for everyone), but time is not equal for all people in all situations.

If it takes a calendar month to develop an “annual” business plan and you are a hypergrowth business, you spent a whole “year” planning and no time executing. If it takes three weeks to close the books and issue financial reports, the “year” in a hypergrowth business is 75% complete before the business know how well it’s doing.

It does not take much thought to identify rate of change as the distinguishing factor between stability and hypergrowth. Time speeds up when my life/business experiences a high rate of change. If I do not recognize times of rapid change and correspondingly adjust the pace at which I plan, decide and act, then I risk falling behind or missing a window of opportunity.

But be careful! In order to appropriately adapt we must recognize that our minds can warp our perspective of time. Consider how often you have heard someone remark how quickly the year has flown. Contrast that with your memories of the interminable wait for Christmas Day as a child. And, if you stop and think for a few moments, you can also recall periods of time as an adult when time seemed to stand still. Don’t ask me how that happens. The best analogy that comes to mind is the difference between high-speed and time-lapsed photography. A high-speed camera takes many frames per second, but when replayed at normal speed gives the appearance of slow-motion. On the other hand, time-lapsed photography compresses time and allows us to actually observe slow rates of change that are undetectable at normal speed.

I can only speculate that our minds possess remarkable potential to adapt to high rates of change. However, extended periods of stability can also slow our minds. This is why bright people with long experience in large corporations may struggle or even fail in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment.

Bottom line…you must learn to recognize the signs of the time and adjust your behaviors accordingly or risk getting either left behind or overrun. As the iconic American humorist, Will Rogers once said, “You may be on the right track, but if you are just sitting there, you will get run over.”

Putting it into practice. How can I leverage the relativity of time?

  • Take time to reflect and train my mind to recognize the present pace of time in my life and business
  • Adapt my rhythms of planning, decisions and actions to suit the times
  • Take advantage of slower times to crystallize and capture lessons from past failures and successes; so that I am prepared to readily apply them to future problems and opportunities
  • Commit to a lifetime of learning. Leverage times of stability to learn new skills and explore new arenas.

Rhythms & Sabbaticals

Why haven’t you taken a sabbatical? I know. I know. You only wish you could take a multi-month break and return to find your job awaiting you. However, you not only should but can take a sabbatical (it’s not what you think). Read on…

A new friend, Gary Christopher of The Jholdas Group, recently recounted his plans for a sabbatical from his consulting practice that will include a bicycle ride across the continental United States with two friends. He’s blogging about that trip here. An undertaking of that magnitude requires no small amount of planning, and the consultant in Christopher clearly researched and planned his trip thoroughly.

Christopher noted that an effective sabbatical has four distinct phases:

  1. Releasing of present responsibilities for the duration of the sabbatical
  2. Resting from our regular labors; An arduous transcontinental bike ride hardly sounds like rest, but this respite from his profession is more about intellectual and emotional rest
  3. Reflection on the past, present and future
  4. Recalibration, or taking an inventory of one’s own life before returning to our daily routines and related responsibilities

Very few of us will ever take a multi-month sabbatical before retirement. However, it struck me that those same sabbatical phases can and probably should conjoin other rhythms in our lives. For example, every day we should release the day just concluded (we cannot change the past), reflect and learn from what transpired that day, rest to recharge for the coming day and recalibrate to establish a plan and priorities for tomorrow.

Depending on the speed or scope of our present lifestyles and obligations, we each should also apply these four sabbatical disciplines to some of the longer frequency rhythms of our lives; namely, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. God designed rhythms into nature, and we ignore them at our own peril.

If we desire to leave a powerful legacy, the process of these mini-sabbaticals will arrest aimless wandering and give our lives greater purpose and productivity.