Be the Calm in the Chaos
"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you." – Deepak Chopra
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your ability to be "the calm in the storm"?
Being calm in chaos is a defining factor of being a great leader. Ironically, the calmer you are, the faster you can move and the more decisive you can be. I think of it like riding a 10-speed bike. Most people are riding in either 1st or 2nd gear, pedaling furiously yet moving slowly. However, the few people in 7th or 8th gear are peddling slowly and moving with tremendous speed and momentum. This is one of the critical skills for turbulent times.
People need leaders who can slow down, embrace the chaos, and navigate through the change. This is what inspires others to trust in the path forward.
My clients see me as someone who remains calm in the face of chaos, but like most things, it's a learned skill, and you can learn to do this as well. For example, in my previous career, I handled billions of dollars for the biotech industry. It could have cost my company millions of dollars if I had dropped the ball at any moment. So I had to learn to remain calm and measured in my work, even under pressure.
Here's a simple way to practice this in your life. It's called the STOP Method. You use the letters S-T-O-P to represent the words… Stop, Take a breath, Observe, and Proceed.
- Stop, disengage from what you are doing and return to a neutral-minded position.
- Then, Take a breath and return to a state of calm.
- Observe the situation from a bird's eye view and come back with a clearer picture of what is happening.
- And finally, Proceed. Come back to your work with a clarified direction.
By taking action driven by panic, you risk making a choice that is not well thought out. When you live in this place, you can throw all your work off its best trajectory. Learning to slow down and become "the calm in the chaos" is a slower thinking process, but it allows you to be more attuned to what else is possible.
Want to hear more about what's possible? Let's have a conversation about your life, your work, and your business. Let's see how you can go much further with much less effort.