I was teaching a leadership class a while back and folks were very distracted. Even though the class had been scheduled for months and everyone seemed committed to it, the following happened: 

  • People were running in and out of class to attend meetings;

  • Many were often checking email on their laptops and phones;

  • Several leaders, who were scheduled to attend, totally bailed out;

  • Several “emergencies” came up that needed immediate attention.

Believe it or not, this often happens during my on-site classes. And I’m not that bothered by it. Meaning, I try to ignore the interruptions and focus my attention on those who ARE present. And who are committed to adding more skills and thinking to their practice of agile leadership.

That being said, I’m not writing this article to complain. But instead to make a very clear point…

It’s a CHOICE!

We choose:

  • How we show up at events;

  • How we react to emergencies;

  • How we handle interruptions;

  • How we make a training class a priority for our focus and learning.

And, also importantly…realizing that…

People are Paying Attention!

The most important thing that I think many class attendees don’t seem to understand is that…

People are paying attention!

If I’m a leader within a company and I’m –

  • Paying for a class;

  • Telling my organization that we’re making an important cultural shift;

  • Sending my leadership team to the class.

And I can’t seem to find the time to engage or attend myself, then by example, I’m telling EVERYONE that I really don’t care about it. That it’s not important. And that I’m wasting everyone’s time.

Wrapping Up

I really want to challenge all of us to not simply react to things in our day-to-day journeys.

Instead, try to be much more mindful and intentional about how we show up, staying present, and how we handle external stimuli.

You just might find that not everything needs your immediate attention. And that this role model might influence others in your organization to shift their focus as well.

Stay agile my friends,