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Attaining Breakthrough

Attaining Breakthrough
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It’s been a tough week. I’m trying to finish the draft of a book explaining the principles of Slow Leadership. There seems to come a point where ideas you once thought were clear and powerful start to look tired and superficial. Maybe it’s something like the point runners say they reach in a long race where it seems impossible to go on; a barrier you must break through to get anywhere near the winning line; the victory over yourself that must precede any other victory.

I began formulating the thoughts behind Slow Leadership in the fall of 2005. When I look back at some of the early articles I wrote on the topic, they seem almost naïve. It’s come a long way since then — a long way along a path that has added a good deal of depth and complexity to the starting idea.

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What began as a simple plea to slow down and take the time to think has become a contrarian style of leadership : one based on dropping the quick-fix, “just-get-it-done-somehow” style of leading, with its emphasis on short-term profits and “grab-and-go” ethics. Today’s textbook styles of leadership have dumbed-down the process into a series of rules-of-thumb and fashionable panaceas.

Breakthrough demands you push beyond the obvious and the conventional. It’s going places you don’t think you can reach. It’s getting to your limit — then going still further. We have a world of work populated with more MBAs than ever before. Yet there has been no appreciable improvement in management over the early part of the twentieth century — maybe even the latter part of the nineteenth.

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No one will find new ideas and better ways to run their working lives by focussing on the ideas of the past, which is what most business schools teach. Education is precious, but it’s not achieved through being able to repeat the details of ideas that now have only historical interest. It comes from the willingness to push into uncharted territories of the mind, seeking newer and better questions — and refusing to be fobbed off with those old, worn-out answers.

What holds you back from achieving breakthrough? Untested, old-fashioned assumptions certainly do. So do the false certainties of fashionably pseudo-scientific management techniques. Let them go. There’s only one way to break out of your current limits: challenging yourself to go deeper and further than you’ve ever gone before. The entry to breakthrough and mastery starts with being a learner — a person who knows only that he or she does not know what matters; at least, not yet. True learners give up all the established certainties and challenge every dogma. They risk everything in the search for knowledge.

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Are you willing to do what it takes to reach your own breakthrough?

Adrian Savage is an Englishman, a writer and a retired business executive. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. You can read his serious thoughts most days at Slow Leadership, the site for everyone who wants to bring back the taste, zest and satisfaction to leadership; and his crazier ones at The Coyote Within.

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Last Updated on July 12, 2021

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life

Lifehack Reviews: 50 Best Life Hacks for Your Life
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Do you want to be as productive as many of us, but missed a lot of actions at lifehack.org during the year? We’ve selected the best 50 life hacks, based on their popularity and contents in different categories. Invest your time – read them. Bookmark this page and mark reading them as one of your new year resolutions.

Communication, Writing, Studying

  1. My Best Presentation Tricks
  2. The Business Card Game
  3. Persuasive Writing for Students, Webmasters, Bloggers, and Everyone Else
  4. 7 tips of handling your Emails without feeling overwhelmed
  5. Writing as a Form of Self Healing
  6. Advice for students: Writing by hand
  7. Yes, But Do People Like You?
  8. Writing – Just do it!
  9. A good place to study
  10. Blog your way through Writer’s Block
  11. 14 Tips for Communicating Ideas

Productivity, Creativity, Motivation

  1. 9 Top Secrets of Naturally Born Organizers
  2. Fight The Flab!
  3. More Fight The Flab!
  4. Limit Creativity, Get Innovation
  5. Precious Moments
  6. 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity in the Office
  7. A Geek’s Best Lifehack
  8. What Kind of Paranoid Are You?
  9. Being A Creative
  10. There’s No Time!
  11. The Mysteries Behind Motivation and How To Manipulate Them
  12. Time Management: Handling Disruptions in Daily Schedules
  13. Productivity Hack: Write Mini Process Flows
  14. Design an Online Workflow

Management, Self-Management, Entrepreneurship

  1. Bare Bones Project Hacks
  2. The 10 Beliefs of Great Managers
  3. The Simplest Path to Success
  4. Letting Things Go
  5. Closet Entrepreneur
  6. Time To Discard The Portmanteau
  7. 5 Important Keys to Bootstrap Your Entrepreneurship
  8. The Most Underutilized Tool for Effective Communication
  9. Everyday Performance Reviews
  10. Meetings, @&!!$*@ Meetings!
  11. What Are You Worried About?
  12. How to Ruin Your Career In Five Easy Steps

Procrastination, Goal Settings, Life

  1. 9 Steps to Define your Goal Destination and Devise a Plan to Get There
  2. Pro-Active Steps to Prevent Procrastination
  3. Improve Your Life By Following A Schedule
  4. The Causes of Procrastination And How To Conquer Them
  5. How To Make Resolutions You’ll Keep
  6. Literal Life Hack: Cut your window of time in half
  7. New Year’s Resolutions and Deficit Thinking
  8. 6 Sleep Tips
  9. Risks versus Rewards Worksheet
  10. 5 Tips for Getting Out of Debt (and Why)
  11. Deep Breathing: A Great Health Trick
  12. 8 Expenses to Cut and How
  13. Desk-side Fitness

Are there any lifehacks that you’ve learned over the past year?

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Featured photo credit: Rainier Ridao via unsplash.com

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