Download The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership PDF

TitleThe Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership
LanguageEnglish
File Size1.5 MB
Total Pages305
Table of Contents
                            Title
Copyright
Contents
Foreword
Acknowledgments
The Inner Edge
The First Practice: Get Clarity
The Second Practice: Find Focus
The Third Practice: Take Action
The Fourth Practice: Tap into Your Brilliance
The Fifth Practice: Feel Fulfillment
The Sixth Practice: Maximize Your Time
The Seventh Practice: Build Your Team
The Eighth Practice: Keep Learning
The Ninth Practice: See Possibility
The Tenth Practice: All … All at Once
Leading on the Edge
Appendices
	Appendix A: Your Inner Edge at a Glance
	Appendix B: Reflective Questions
	Appendix C: Making Time for Personal Leadership
Notes
Index
	A
	B
	C
	D
	E
	F
	G
	H
	I
	J
	K
	L
	M
	N
	O
	P
	Q
	R
	S
	T
	U
	V
	W
	Y
                        
Document Text Contents
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THE INNER EDGE

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THE INNER EDGE

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THE SIXTH PRACTICE 139

THE FAST TRACK VERSUS THE SHORTCUT

As a culture, we once had a reasonable relationship with time. Think about
your parents and grandparents refl ecting on their childhood. So often they
reminisce that “life was slower then.”

Then we got on the fast track. The implication was that those who were
going to win were the ones who were moving fast. Faster equaled more effi -
cient, more productive, and therefore more successful. We practiced new tech-
niques with our planners and PDAs to get more done in a day. Fast became
synonymous with better —an association we have been paying for ever since. 2

Now we’ve moved from the fast track to warp speed. We keep trying to
somehow fast-forward ourselves to do more and more, faster and faster, all at
once and all the time. In some cases the pace becomes absurd as we try to do
more of what we’ve always done faster than is humanly possible. But there’s
a limit to our capacity. Even if you see yourself as a Porsche in the fast lane of
life, Porsches can only go so fast. At some point you’re going to crash. In order
to avoid breaking down, we need to stop trying to go faster and faster and cross
into a new way of thinking altogether. We don’t need to go faster from Point A
to Point B. What we need is a portal. A trapdoor. A shortcut.

Physicists call it a wormhole—a way to link distant points in space that
would otherwise take years, decades, or centuries to travel even at the speed of
light. To get the image of a wormhole, imagine a worm traveling over the skin
of an apple. To get to the opposite side, the worm can travel the entire distance
around (the long way), or he could take a shortcut by burrowing through its cen-
ter (the short way) (See Figure 5). To date, wormholes are more science fi ction
than science, but the concept can help us rethink what’s possible with time.

You, too, can become a time traveler, slipping through time using shortcuts
that lead almost instantly to a new way of life. To do that, you’ve got to shift
your thinking. Let’s look at a few examples of how we’re used to thinking on
the fast track and how you need to think differently to fi nd the shortcuts.

FIGURE 5 From the fast track to warp speed to the shortcut

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140 THE INNER EDGE

The Fast Track: You Have to Be Stressed to Be Successful

This way of thinking is a trap. If you fall into it, you will forever be caught
in the black hole of busyness, trading your life for your success.

Research shows what we get in return for our stress is no American Dream.
Health care costs for people who are stressed are 147 percent higher than other
workers, 3 and 60 percent of doctor visits involve stress-related complaints. 4
Other problems occur when you’re stressed:

• your performance slides
• your productivity decreases
• your relationships get damaged
• your decision-making ability declines
• your health suffers. 5

The stress isn’t just bad for leaders. It wreaks havoc on business in the form of
lowered productivity, absenteeism, turnover, disability, insurance costs, work-
place accidents, violence, workers’ compensation, and lawsuits. 6 Does that
sound like success to you?

Some stress is unavoidable, and the right amount of stress can even be
good for you. But too much stress eats away at your quality of life, and the ex-
tent to which you enjoy your life is part of your success. Ironically, by trading
your achievement today for happiness tomorrow, you give away some of the
results you’re trying to gain. There’s no way to win at that game. Try thinking
this way instead:

The Shortcut: You Can Succeed without the Stress

Stress and busyness do not equal success. Goal clarity and commitment
do. Two leaders I coached provide examples of this distinction. Meet Vinh and
Lucas.

VINH AND LUCAS

Vinh, an executive vice president of sales for a leading medical equipment com-
pany, was always behind. When he talked about time, he always seemed to me
rather glib. He was always on the run, he was constantly behind, and I could see
from his expression it wrung him out. But as soon as he saw me, he would paint
on a smile. Grinning, he’d cry, “Ah, too much to do, too little time! But I guess
that’s true for everyone, right?”

But it’s not. Right next door sat proof.
Lucas, Vinh’s counterpart, had almost the same job but in another territory.

Same responsibilities. Same boss. Same number of hours in the day. Lucas had

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About the Author

JOELLE K. JAY is an executive coach with a Ph.D. in learning and leadership
from the University of Washington, as well as a Master Certifi ed Coach with
the International Coach Federation and an adjunct faculty member at the Uni-
versity of Nevada. Jay coaches leaders in companies like Microsoft, Wachovia,
and AT&T, as well as small business leaders and independent professionals.
She is affi liated with the Leadership Research Institute and is one of the lead-
ing executive coaches in the U.S. Jay is the author of Baby on Board: Becoming
a Mother without Losing Yourself—A Guide for Moms to Be (Amacom, 2007);
Quality Teaching: Refl ection as the Heart of Practice (Scarecrow, 2003), winner of
the Robert C. Lee award for outstanding research and used in college courses
throughout the country; and over 75 articles.

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