Be Highly Available
This one might be the most simple but controversial idea of Calm Leadership.
By using the principles of Calm Leadership especially writing and good rhythms you untangle yourself as a leader from a ton of "keep the wheels moving" work.
When done right this gives your an almost empty calendar!
Many people mistakenly think you can not do great work without being booked in meetings from 9-5 and then do even more work after hours. Our experience is the exact opposite - the more stuffed our calendar is the worse your team performs. And in the end your job as a leader is to create results through your team.
You can't be there for your team if you are constantly occupied!
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast!
US Navy SEALS
Being short term busy ruins most long term performance. Eg. the US Army knows that if you rush when reloading artillery you make more mistakes and achieve fewer rounds per minute fired than if you slow down and remain calm while reloading. It feels counter-intuitive when you do it but it works.
A cornerstone of Calm Leadership is that you protect and embrace your empty calendar. This is your teams buffer that ensures everything runs smoothly.
The most important job for a leader is to clear the way for their team so they can get the job done.
Here is how we recommend you use those hours wisely to clear your teams way:
Your primary purpose is to be highly available for your team for feedback and to help them quickly get unstuck when they need your help. There is a order of magnitude difference in organisational speed if you can get instant help compared to having to wait to schedule a meeting with your leader.
By reserving buffer you have the time to deal with unexpected problems. Put out the fires quickly while they are small and protect your team from them so they can do the planned work. This makes your teams performance much more predictable.
Work on things that make it easier for your team to perform. It can be better guides in your handbook or researching how to best solve some issue that customers or other colleagues have raised with your team.
Reflect and learn. Get inspired by other leaders on how to do things even better for your team.
Relax and recharge. If you get to this point you deserve it. Fill your batteries such that you can be that extra buffer for your team when it really matters.