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WHY HAVE I WRITTEN THIS BOOK?
Busyness. Endless To Do’s. Endless meetings. Endless deadlines. Endless expectations. Survival. And yet, in our overwhelm, we have this sneaking suspicion that there must be something more to life than being a slave to urgent matters. I know this from my personal experience, that's for sure.
This constant clamor of our 24/7 nonstop culture has been labeled by the World Health Organization a “modern plague.” Why? Because we are literally killing ourselves with one To Do list after another. How? We are neglecting some of the most significant human experiences vital to producing a life of well-being and fulfillment.
The truth is, the human system is designed to optimize life by means of regular pauses. But not just stopping. A strategic stop.
In my book The Strategic Stop I am calling into question our culture’s tilt toward “doing” in contrast to “being”.
The highest value in our workplaces has been productivity, and while that seems normal to us, we have paid a price as individual workers, teams, and organizations. We are jeopardizing the soul of our greatest resource: the human being side of our doers; knowing and honoring each other's strengths, preferences, and unique experiences as human beings; the challenge to bring all this essential humanity into a deeper innovative collaboration.
So in The Strategic Stop I lay out nine vital pauses designed to increase human well-being and effective living in and out of the workplace; seven practices to include in the regular rhythm of your life: Start with rest, State your Why, Strengthen self-awareness, Shift limiting beliefs, Sharpen strengths, Surround yourself with support, and sabbath your time.
These seven strategic stops will transform the way you work, manage, and live because you are you choosing to be more intentional about the kind of life you want to live. You are refusing to allow the urgent to dictate your priorities. You are taking back your life in order to really live your life. You are allowing yourself to come face to face with your fullest human potential by embracing your identity as a human “being” not merely a human “doing.”
And if you're a leader in an organization, you are choosing to give these strategic time gifts to everyone who works for and with you. And if you're a parent, you are choosing to give these vital habits to your children to utilize as they grow up into adults who then populate the workplaces and cultures of the world.
Whether you’re a leader who manages a team or heads up a company, or an independent contributor, or a parent faced with unending responsibilities to your family and work, if you’ve ever felt like you’re in bondage to your busyness and nonstop schedule and have lost a bit of your self in the process, this book is for you. It will guide you to pay attention to how you thrive not just survive.
Our workplace culture and culture in general desperately need to restore balance to our humanity by valuing human well-being. This emphasis is what ultimately provides us with the joy, fulfillment, engagement, and groundedness we hunger for deep inside. And when we pay attention to this priority, our productivity becomes more human-centered than robotic.
I want to invite you to take a stand with me for this bold mission. #moreHumanity
Who Am I to Write this book?
First, for the last 15 years I have worked as a full time professional speaker, leadership and team strengths coach, and author mostly in the business world. I have been trusted by big brands such as Amazon, Fitbit, Walmart, Lyft, American Express, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to come in and maximize their leaders and teams.
So working with hundreds of leaders and teams has given me a seat at the table to facilitate strategic stops in which everyone is given opportunity to radically increase self-awareness, relational empathy, and innovative collaboration. I've seen women and men when given the space and opportunity make the courageous choice during sessions to be vulnerable, honest, transparent, while showing deep levels of respect, honor, and empathy with each other, and then to put it all together effectively in order to parter and collaborate in creative ways.
I've seen the transformation of these work cultures into places of human potential and human beings not just human doings. And when this happens, it matters to the whole organization.
Second, prior to this, I spent twenty plus years as a pastor in congregations journeying with people from the cradle to the grave. I learned all about the very human and often messy process of living and dying. And over time, I saw with increasing clarity how living life works best; how we as humans are designed for ways of being that enhance and enliven human existence; learning firsthand the best practices of being human, as it were. And when I stood beside a dying parishioner, holding his or her hand, I never once heard them say to me or to their families, "I wish I had spent more time at the office."
Third, I am speaking from personal experience as a leader, entrepreneur, parent, and now grandparent. I, too, have wrestled with the tug between the urgent and the important. I feel the inner turmoil of having to choose priorities, and depending on which ones I choose, experiencing the consequences. Sometimes it has felt good. Other times not. Sometimes it has worked well, other times not at all. But I continue working to build the healthiest balance in my life through all the ups and downs, ins and outs.
And fourth, I have a doctorate in personal and organizational effectiveness. My study, research, and learnings through the years have extremely energized and informed me about how people work and live best; about how when individuals come together in an organization the culture gets shaped by both individual influence and group shifts, either for good or for not so good, depending on how healthy and whole each person is.
I'm extremely grateful for and thankful to the thousands of people in my working life who have trusted me in various capacities to be in their lives. They have invited me into their journey at various stages of life to be a supportive, encouraging, and guiding presence. They have taught me so much.
So this book The Strategic Stop is the culmination of some of my learnings developed through my career with people and groups. Join me in this movement to reclaim our full humanity in the workplace. #morehumanityintheworkplace #TheStrategicStop
Here’s what you will get in this book:
You will get a vision for what it means to shape Strategic Stops in your work and life and why it’s so vital to your well being
You will identify what your most significant Strategic Stop most needs to be in order to bring more fullness to your life
You will outline specific personal and professional steps for how to maximize your stops
You will learn how to optimize rest and resilience in ways that leverage your own energy style
You will deepen your self-awareness to increase confidence, purpose, and well-being
You will deconstruct limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering beliefs that liberate you
You will build more healthy relationships on your team, at work, and beyond that provide you far greater support
You will bring clarity to your purpose that increases your impact and influence in your organization
By building more strategic “stopping points” into the regular rhythm of your life, you will take back your human “being” side and live more fully alive.