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Why You Need to Create Space to Think (Not Just Do)

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Leaders are paid to think, not just do.

In fact, thinking is what I like to call Queen Bee work, whereas when you are stuck deep in the doing… that’s Busy Bee work.  

Let me clarify further …

The Busy Bee is a ‘do-er’. She is often run off her feet with a jam-packed calendar that barely allows her room to breathe, let alone room to think strategically, take a ‘big picture’ focus and lead her team. She is juggling a million tasks and being busy, but not necessarily being productive.

The Queen Bee is a leader. She is working at a strategic level and bringing about high level improvement, change and growth to her organisation. She is focussed, intentional and highly effective. She is moving the business forward and being recognised for doing so. 

Thinking work – Queen Bee work – is the work that gets you recognised, rewarded and promoted (which I know is what you want!)

Yes, an innovative and effective workplace needs both thinkers AND do-ers – but it’s the thinkers that get seen, recognised for their high level visionary work and ultimately, paid more.

Do you feel stuck at the middle management level? 

If so, I want you to consider what you’re doing more of – doing or thinking?

As a society, we’ve been told that action steps and tangible outcomes are more worthwhile, which is why many women think that this is the kind of work they need to do in order to move-on-up in their organisation.

But it’s not!

While doing actions are important, your organisation cannot grow if it doesn’t have leaders at its helm who are thinking about the big picture. In fact, there are no successful businesses without leaders who lead. 

That’s where you come in!

I know it can feel ‘lazy’ and ‘time wasting’ to put an hour aside to think (it’s not by the way!) 

BUT trust me when I say that it’s in this space that your greatest ideas will come to you, and that it’s these ideas that will take you to the next level in your career journey.

The key is to start creating space to think and prioritise the work that requires you to think deeply, creatively or strategically. It’s time to get out of the endless cycle of doing. 

“So what does ‘thinking work’ actually look like on a practical level Jane?”

Great question! It looks like you:

    • Creating white space in your calendar to put on your leadership hat, get out of the doing rat race and see opportunities for change and expansion (I’ve written some great suggestions for how to do this here)
    • Surrounding yourself with other inspiring Queen Bees who are thinking strategically and coming up with transformational big picture ideas in their own workplaces
    • Seeking to solve problems, rather than simply offering short term band-aid solutions
    • Designing strategies that will move your corner of the business forward, rather than focussing solely on the present and getting caught up in the day-to-day
    • Mentoring and upskilling your team, so you can all expand, become A players and support one another (and therefore your workplace!) to rise.  You need your team to step up to allow you the space to think
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