Pixar’s new film, “Soul,” came out over the holiday break. In it, they describe “The Zone” as a place people travel to when they’re immersed in the things that fulfill them, such as when playing the piano, swimming, or reading.
The Zone, or “flow,” is often what helps us to do our best work and achieve peak performance.
As leaders, getting into the zone can be difficult with the many distractions and responsibilities that come with being a business owner. So how can we get into our leadership zone quickly and daily?
ActionCOACH RGV has a few ideas.
With a new task or activity, there’s a lot of conscious thought that goes into making sure it’s done correctly. Because the zone is more of a subconscious state of mind, it’s difficult to get there with new tasks.
As a leader, you are constantly needing to make decisions and changes. Focus on one task or aspect of your position on which to grow and practice getting into a good flow in that area.
Remember, patience is a virtue!
Many times, we hear famous athletes or actors speak about getting in the zone with their craft. They use various tricks and tools to get there - but it’s not a one size fits all type of concept. We can learn from others, but it will take your own imagination to find out what it takes to get to your leadership zone.
Getting in the zone for you might mean meditation or imagining you are in a different place. It might mean setting a goal that is outside of the box and trying to reach that.
A famous example is Steve Jobs wanting to cut down the boot time of the Macintosh by ten seconds. Larry Kenyon told him it could not be done and Jobs asked, “If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?”
They ended up finding a way to shave off 28 seconds!
Leaders will find that getting in the zone requires having a passion and drive for the task before them. A true belief in what you are doing, a purpose behind it, and the desire to succeed need to all be in place for you to tap into your leadership zone.
There is a progression to this process as you not only grow in knowledge but in the heart behind your tasks.
There are also tools you can use, whether at work or outside, to build your creative flow. The right type of environment is important.
You might find yourself in the zone in a noise-filled room, with headphones and music on, or in complete silence. You might find that a certain desk and chair, or coffee shop are your best areas to work from. Because many leaders were moved from their usual work spots and many coffee shops closed due to the pandemic, you might have to try different tactics to find your own environment.
Coffee, tea, exercise, and a specific time of day can also affect how and when you find yourself in the zone. Long story short, there are many factors that can lead to your leadership zone, and we encourage you to try them all.
A statistics-based way to find your zone can be done with several free (or low-priced) tests. The Gallup Strengths Finder, for example, is an online test that explains the unique ways you accomplish your goals by building relationships, thinking strategically, executing plans, and influencing others.
You can take one, or all, for better insight, but an evaluation of common themes will help you get true specifics. You might see that the same strengths are identified across multiple tests. As you review your results, take note of what you do or were doing that last showed that strength to its truest potential.
These situations had separate emotions or feelings attached to them. Pay attention to this, as it can show your true passions and drive in your leadership position.
A business coach can also help you evaluate your results and findings. Their unbiased and experienced views can help you know if you are being honest with your review of your results. A business coach will also help you expand on these strengths and passions, to help you find your true leadership zone.
At ActionCOACH RGV, our coaches have been helping business leaders for over 15 years with our unique business building tools, approaches, strategies, and systems.
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