Can You Step Back To Lead Forward?

Can you step back to lead forward?

That is the key question for you to answer as you start to read Kevin Cashman's book, The Pause Principle.

Because, Cashman firmly believes that as a leader, you need to pause to lead forward.

"What sleep is to the mind and body, pause is to leadership and innovation," explains Cashman.

He goes on to say:
  • Pause transforms management into leadership and the status quo into new realities.
  • Pause, the natural capability to step back  in order to move forward with greater clarity, momentum, and impact, holds the creative power to reframe and refresh how we see ourselves and our relationships, our challenges, our capacities, our organizations and missions within a larger context.

In his book, Cashman teaches you the value of using pause points to:
  • Build self-awareness and clarity of purpose
  • Explore new ideas
  • Risk experimentation
  • Question, listen, reflect and synthesize
  • Challenge the status quo, within and around you
He further teaches you how to:
  • Be on-purpose
  • Consider inside-out and outside-in dynamics
  • Be authentic
Taking time to pause is a key difference between managers and leaders says Cashman.

Other core differences between effective managers and exceptional leaders, explains Cashman, include:
  • "Effective managers focus on speed and transaction, while exceptional leaders focus on significance and transformation." 
  • "Effective managers seek control and process, while exceptional leaders seek contribution and meaningful purpose."
  • "At its core management is about content, and leadership is about deeper, broader context."
And when you have finished the book, you'll understand the importance of stepping back to lead forward, because:
  • "Pause is the conscious, intentional process to move from control, content, and speed to the higher order principles of contribution, context, and significance."
And, for those organizations with demanding speed and action as part of their culture, Cashman recommends that they:
  • Meet the demands of speed and action with about 80% of your time and energy.  Then consciously step back and embrace the most important, the most complex part of your job with about 20% of pauseful, deep reflective time and energy. 
And, specifically ask these questions as your engage your colleagues:
  • What do we see?
  • What might be possible if we did x, y, or z?
  • What if we did this or that?
  • What if we saw this through the customers' eyes?
  • Why are we doing this?
  • What might be possible if we saw our product and organization with new eyes?
Cashman is the author of six leadership books including the bestseller, Leadership from the Inside Out.

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