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It’s ironic that stopping to reflect will help a leader win the race. In my coaching practice, I’ve worked with executive leaders in many Fortune 500 companies, including managers and leaders from 25 countries. One characteristic they most share is being so caught up in doing, that there is simply no time left for reflecting. This sets off a vicious cycle — I act and act, but since there is no time to reflect and learn, I have little if any chance to improve.

The pace of business has been escalating since I started my career 39 years ago, but a quote from British businessman James A. Froude indicates that even back in the 1800s this fast and frantic mentality was deterring mindful reflection: “The solitary side of our nature demands leisure for reflection upon subjects on which the dash and whirl of daily business…forbid the intellect to fasten itself.” One can only imagine what Mr. Froude would think about the “dash and whirl of daily business” with electronic instant communication and real-time data.

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