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Developing A Strategy For Essentialism In Your Leadership

essentialism holistic leadership Jan 26, 2021

“The wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution is by doing only what is essential.” - Forbes 

Is Essentialism a tool that you are refining as a leader? If not, we want to help you learn to leverage this tool to work in your favor, better your business and boost your success as a leader and in your personal life. We’ve gathered information from some of our resources to create a guide for you to better implement Essentialism in your business, leadership and worklife. 

In his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less Greg McKeown writes that, in order to be an effective leader while practicing essentialism, follow this four step process “essence, explore, eliminate, and execute” Click here to learn more 

What does this process look like in your business and work life as a leader? 

In the moments that you recognize a tradeoff exists in order to be true to the core mindset and goal you are pursuing -  to have one thing you must lose another - an essentialist will remember their Essence. Loss of opportunity can often trigger stagnancy or unwillingness to make a final decision, but being content with your known essence will be empowering. Determine to be intentional about looking for your essence around your responsibilities and what is needed to reach your goals, this will ensure that you are focused on what actually matters.

The Non-Essentialist says “everything to everyone” while the Essentialist says “LESS but BETTER”

Increase your selectivity, by taking the time that you need to find your execution plan.This increased selectiveness will call for you to explore the circumstances and spaces around you that fit best with what is essential to you. In other words, as much as is possible, avoid making decisions that have forced or rushed timing in order to be selective and continue to align with your focus; a period of exploring needs to take place. This applies to any decisions, everything from hiring, changing operational processes, adding new incentives to reorganizing. 

The Non-Essentialist “hires people frantically and creates a ‘Bozo explosion’ ” while the Essentialist is “RIDICULOUSLY selective on talent and removes people who hold the team back."

What patterns need changing? What distractions need to go? Elimination is key when seeking what is essential, but in order to see what needs to be eliminated, evaluation must occur first. Ask yourself questions to determine what is necessary: what works and what is most efficient, distinguish between opportunities and obligations. Consider these questions: Will the effort make the highest possible contribution to your goal? Will you have the power to direct your time and energy? Will you be able to streamline your efforts or thought processes for the best possible productivity and focus?

The Non-Essentialist says “I work a straddled strategy - EVERYTHING is a priority” while the Essentialist says “Eliminate all non-essential distractions” 

To master the use of Essentialism as a leadership tool, you must be willing and ready to learn how to make tough decisions. But understand this, these decisions of elimination, or saying “no”, will bring forth an outcome that is well worth the struggle to make that hard decision. 

Your FOCUS as a leader is paramount to your success and the success of those under your leadership. Practicing Essentialism will help you maximize your time, leverage your impact, and secure your intentions. Executing routines that positively impact your own personal behavior and productivity will keep you intentional. Executing your duties with patience, selectivity and staying on course with your vision will increase your rapport with your talent and foster a motivated and focused culture. 

The Non-Essentialist leads “a fractured team that makes a millimeter of progress in a million directions”  while the Essentialist leads “a unified team that breaks through the next level of contribution” 


**Quotes found in The Seven Elements Chart from McKeown’s book


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