If you want to be a more effective leader, do this one thing . . .

Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

There is always so much to do as a leader.

And there never seems to be enough time.

But what if there was an abundance of time and the only thing that needed to change for you to be more effective was to change your mindset?

Turns out, that’s the key.

The old way of thinking about time

The Newtonian view says there’s only a finite amount of time, and it must be carefully portioned-out so there will be enough of it do the things we need to do.

-Gay Hendricks

Gay Hendricks wrote The Big Leap and that book presented an idea that nearly short-circuited my brain.

The concept was his view of time. Gay argues there are two views of time Newtonian and Einstein time. The problem that most people have is that they are operating under an old paradigm — Newtonian time — which is a scarcity model of time.

Newtonian time assumes a dualistic relationship. If you don’t get something done who is to blame? Time! In this relationship, it is always you versus time. Newtonian time is stressful, hurried, and creates a constant battle to be won or lost.

The solution is to adopt a more expansive view of time.

The new way of thinking about time

An hour with your beloved feels like a minute; a minute on a hot stove feels like an hour

-Einstein

What if there wasn’t a battle against time to be won every day? How would that change your approach to work?

If you adopt the concept of Einstein time, you change your relationship with time. Instead of seeing time as “out there” and something to conquer, there is a substantial mindset shift that you make in order to create an abundance of time.

This is not for the faint of heart.

To be honest, it took me years to really understand this concept.

To start playing with Einstein time, Gay Hendricks asserts that you take ownership of time because in his words: “You become the source of time.”

(this was the moment where my brain nearly short-circuited in 2017 when I read this line for the first time).

That’s right. You are the source of time.

Now it’s your choice

Where in my life am I not taking full ownership?

-Gay Hendricks

So if you are the source of time, you now have an abundance of time.

Now, whenever someone makes a request of your time you only have one appropriate answer: “Of course I have time . . . I’m where time comes from.”

I know that this idea may seem crazy. But here is what Einstein time is really about: if you are the source of time, you give up your right to complain about it.

In other words, you take full ownership of all the time you have each day because you create it.

No longer can you say things like:

  • I’m in a rush.
  • There’s never enough time.
  • I would love to do ‘X’ but I’m in a hurry
  • And so on . . .

When you choose to stop complaining about time and take full ownership, you’ll be amazed at how you begin to get more things done, all while feeling less hurried, stressed, and without a constant battle with your old nemesis — time.

Even if you are not in a place where you can adopt the view that you are the source of time, committing to stop complaining about time will produce incredible results.

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