Inaccessibility….say what? At the age of 24 I was given the opportunity to take over as the General Manager of a hotel. What comes with that is being on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week, working long hours and I have always had the rule that my office
door is always open so this idea that there is an art of inaccessibility was daunting and scary. I knew over the years that I would have to start thinking about how to protect my time but I honestly had no idea what in the world my time really was.
My time up to this point was normally when I went to bed and watched the inside of my eyelids. Perhaps it was a few stolen moments on the couch watching the news or a show. Most years I would try and take a couple of days off for a “sabbatical” but inevitably what happens is my phone would still ring in the middle of the night and I always made sure to check my emails. Nothing in that last sentence screams “inaccessibility” it only screams busy.
Not long ago I had the opportunity to read an incredible leadership book called Pivot Leadership Small steps…big change and one chapter that I found myself making notes through, highlighting and underlining was The Art of Inaccessibility.
“If we want to continue to be passionate and engaged leaders, we must learn the art of inaccessibility.” (pg 33)
Initially I was confused…. I had built my career on always being accessible so this idea that I not only needed to learn to be inaccessible but that it could be an art, seemed to confuse me. That is, until I dove in and really began to understand what she was talking about.
Hotel business isn’t for the faint at heart and to add to that my husband and I were called to join with our dear friends in a church plant 3 years ago. Over the years I worked incredibly hard to make sure that I could anything and everything possible for both organizations, fully committing myself to them and filling every ounce of time completing tasks and projects. While the idea was great I noticed that it was taking both a mental but also physical toll on me. Gaining weight back to where I swore I would never get back to and sleeping less and less I knew that I had to make a change. For me filling my day with tasks was a measure of who I was, what my contribution was and it was how I thought everyone else measured my importance to them. I honestly believed that if I wasn’t doing something for someone then I wasn’t needed. Angela says something in her book that made me stop, highlight, circle and make notes on
“Leaders can hold on to busyness like a weapon of protection.” (pg 41)
Busyness was my protection and I had to be willing to make a change. Even if it was small. One of the great things about this book is this concept Small Steps….big change. For me it wasn’t about throwing everything out the window and starting over it was about taking even just 1 hour and making a small change. Taking 1 hour to ride my bike home the 13 miles rather than sit in my car for 30 minutes was introducing a small step in changing my health. Turning notifications off on my phone created this space of freedom.
“Space will remind you that your phone alerts are not the measure of your existence.”
I had to learn that getting or not getting that email response that I had been waiting for really had no bearing on who I was as a person, who I am is determined by God and I needed to be better about reminding myself of that truth.
I wanted to just leave you with this encouragement. You may not be the GM of a hotel or a pastor in a church but we all have something or someone in our life that we are leading. Even if it is ourselves, because let’s face it, in life, leading ourselves might just be the hardest place that we need to pivot to make even the smallest steps which can turn into the biggest changes.
If you are ready to pivot and make even small steps in the way that you lead, even if it’s just yourself check out Pivot Leadership Small Steps… Big Changes