By Bryan Neuberg, special to Overdrive.
I almost died this weekend!
While I was cycling across a street, a car speeding at 30mph grazed my front tire. The impact bent my fork and twisted my headset. Somehow I managed to stay upright, with both feet still clipped into my pedals. There was no damage and luckily, I didn’t even pull a muscle.
Had I been one inch further, my face would have smashed into the passenger’s window and ended with me possibly being swept underneath the car. Had I fought for that inch, I would have been six feet under. This experience raised the question, “When do we push for that inch and when do we hang back?”
As an executive coach, I frequently think about entrepreneurs and leadership. Similar to me, instead of being present in the moment, they usually fight for that extra inch and get ahead of themselves. They also have the tendencies to say yes too much and run rampant, which my friend Gary Vaynerchuk calls “The Yes Virus”. Then they will check out while accompanied by staff because they are thinking about their next move. In the process of clawing for that extra inch, entrepreneurs may make wrong decisions and even set their company on the course to failure.
As Al Pacino says in Any Given Sunday, “…the inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second.”
So how do we get more inches?
1.) Say NO – Early-stage entrepreneurs need to be overly involved. But as their companies’ grow, they need to delegate or they will become the bottleneck to their company’s growth. This week say NO to three things.
2.) Mindfulness Practices – One secret to getting more inches/ time is to slow down. Instead of allowing your mind to race forward by inches, even miles into the future, do simple “mindful practices” to become present in the moment. Here you’ll find clarity and emotions won’t suck you in. Practice using your senses. Notice how typing feels on your fingers. Observe the colors of the trees as you walk to your next meeting. Chew your food at lunch and taste what you’re eating. Once you strengthen your “mindfulness” muscles, challenges won’t knock you down as often because you can see them coming head on. This week try to do mindfulness practice once a day.
3.) Planning – Even great leaders believe they don’t have time to plan. Spend thirty minutes at the end of this week and plan. You can either be strategic now or wake up in a few months in the same place on key projects.
This blog post was previously published on Bryanneuberg.com.