A Quality of Thought: “Powerful Subtraction”.
As I sign-off for 2018, a transformational insight for me, personally, that I’d like to share from the past year is this:
Powerful Subtraction is the foundation of High Performance
At the start of any change project – and at the turn of a year, “change” is a common thought for many – the thoughts are for what I need to add. What I need to do more of. What I need to introduce, atop my current commitments.
But let me give you an alternative set of thoughts:
- What do I need to do less of?
- What do I need to delegate elsewhere?
- What do I need to park, for now?
- What do I just need to stop doing, all together?
Because when I take away, I make room for high return activities. And I get back to a singular focus on the projects that count.
My own coach said something to me earlier this week that really hit home: “DON’T GET BUSY”. She didn’t shout it; in fact, she whispered it. But the impact of that statement warranted caps. And I knew exactly what she meant.
Yes, I have a stack of great ideas. Yes, I want to make shifts. Yes, I want to have greater impact. But I don’t serve those aims by adding. I serve those aims by taking-away.
So, 2 Points of Reflection for you, as you look back on the year:
- What have you taken away this past year that has really made room for your successes?
- What do you need to take away in the year to come? *
* Subtractions that will really open you up to new levels of performance, creativity, vitality and agency.
Plenty of other commentators will be inviting you to reflect on your past year, couched in terms of addition. I invite you to reflect on 2018 – and look ahead to 2019 – in terms of SUBTRACTION.
Happy New Year.