Hans-Kristian Bjerregaard •
Apr 13, 2023
One of the best things I have learned in life is how to lead, perform and be calm.
The last one especially. When calm, we humans not only think clearer but we are also more empathetic. Calm also means that you end your day tired from work but never mentally exhausted. It gives you the buffer to handle stressful situations.
Calm Leadership was what enabled me to profitably quadruple my business profitably over 4 years while becoming an uncompromising dad for my 2 kids. I had 3 months paternity leave with each, never worked more than 6 hours a day so I had plenty of time with them to watch them grow up. I even had regular days off with my wife, long vacations, long weekends etc.
In short a good life all while I managed to successfully lead my business. I sat down with my wife and in those 4 years there has been 5 days where I had to deal with work where I would rather have been with my family. An OK score taken COVID etc in to account.
This is not to brag but I really want to underline that Calm Leadership is not a claim or ideal but something that I have successfully used in practice for years.
Calm Leadership sounds like utopia but I have found that it is pretty simple to achieve:
- Do everything important in rhythms. Rhythms are just your regularly repeating habits that - like the beat in music - lay the foundation for the phase you and your team work in. It makes you and your teams work predictable even if the craziest things happen.
- Learn to master writing. I did not see myself as a writer but all great leaders must be great communicators and all great communicator are great writers. Writing allows you to check your thoughts before you share them and writing allows you to be in the room and guide your team - even if you are not there.
- Be highly available. How can you lead if you are always in a meeting? By having all important work in rhythms you can clear up most of your calendar to be there for your team. High availability also means speed - if you can help a person now instead of waiting for the next scheduled meeting, you can get things moving orders of magnitudes faster.
- Be long terms empathetic. Most leaders are too busy to be empathetic and worse, others are short term empathetic (google Ruinous Empathy). Leaders that are short term empathetic tries to do their best by protecting people from negative feedback. But this robs them from growth and a brighter future. I love the term long term empathetic as it is a great guidance for giving feedback: Does what I say and how I say it help in the long run?
If this peaked your curiosity then head over to Calm Leadership for all the details on how to be a calm but performant leader.