Be willing to irritate others in the moment for long term impact

This week the schedule gods blessed me with a few days that had absolutely no meetings. Usually I block out Fridays for no meetings but the day usually ends up getting stuffed with administrative, not-fun work. But to have a Tuesday clear? That was a real treat. 

Here’s what I noticed: I got stuff done. You see, our work is fundamentally changing from mechanical, rote, and repetitious to original, creative, and thoughtful. This trend will continue. 

The problem with original, creative, and thoughtful work, though, is that it requires big blocks of time if we want to do it well. When there is even a single meeting in a day, our time becomes fragmented. Stack a few meetings in a day and our ability to do the creative work gets sidelined. 

Uninterrupted time is the new black. If you can work uninterrupted by meetings, email, social, and drop-ins from 8 am to noon everyday, within a few months you will suddenly become even more of a superstar. People will notice your astounding ability to produce! 

Those same people will get mad at you in the moment for declining the meeting, but your awesomeness will win their respect. 

So, make the short term trade of irritating a few people to do work that really matters.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on August 2, 2019

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