Guest blog: Create some thinking time

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Time spent outside your business could be good time spent for thinking about leading your business, says business coach Trevor Lee

I met someone earlier this year who told me that the reason they had attended a business masterclass was not just to pick up ideas and tips for their business and their own development but that it guaranteed them three hours away from the business.

That time ‘out of the business’ to think about and reflect upon their role and their business was certainly a rarity for them and I guess for many others as well.

Most business people are so focused on ‘getting the job done’ that they overlook the need to occasionally step back and view the business from an outside perspective.

Some business gurus call this the ‘helicopter view’. As a business leader or manager taking that ‘helicopter view’ is really important. Without it how do you visualise where you want the business to go and then plan for how to get there?

What’s it going to be like when sales take off and you need more and more people, bigger premises, third party investments etc?

In a relatively recent survey the UK based Ashridge Business School discovered that good leadership can add significantly to a company’s success.

Managers also have to demonstrate leadership skills and in many SME’s people often find themselves thrust into the role of ‘manager’ – usually because someone has left, been promoted, or the new manager was very good in their previous role and it has been decided that on the basis of that performance they should become a ‘manager’.

In my opinion it’s also important when you take that time out you do so away from the business and all its distractions. I’m a great believer in that your best ideas come along when you are not sitting behind your desk or in your company’s meeting room so get out – go for a long walk, sit on a park bench, treat yourself to a leisurely lunch, or like the person I referred to earlier book yourself onto a two or three hour masterclass.

And when you are out of the business seek inspiration from what you see around you and the people you meet. Everywhere and everyday there is an opportunity to do business or something that will help you do business. All you have to do is spot it.

I lived in a house once that had painted across the top of one of the walls in a very ornate way the words ‘what you can’t see is right in front of your eyes’. It was large and prominent but we never saw it until about three weeks after we had moved in!

So if you want ideas for your business book some time out and give yourself a chance to see things from an outsiders perspective.

About the author:

Former MD of Cornwall & Devon Media, Trevor now runs Trevor Lee Media and specialises in sales and leadership. Trevor’s next three-hour masterclass ‘Welcome to Leadership’ runs on September 16 at Pool Innovation Centre