balanced leadership focus meaningful progress mindfulness prioritisation reflection Jul 17, 2023

Welcome to Whisper #110.

Noise v Signal

Much of our attention at work is taken up with noise.

There’s so much noise that our attention can barely keep up.

We often think that pushing through and completing the noise is efficient and effective.

And yet the following day the noise returns, sometimes repeats, to further compound the noise from yesterday.

If we’re lucky, we get the weekend to attempt to hear some signals in order to re-balance the effect of the noise we expect to hear again come Monday morning.

And round and round it goes…noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise, noise

I’m sure you get the idea.

In this case, what’s noise – consistent, low-level, attention-sucking, sometimes urgent information leading to the progress or completion of a might-be-important task.

In this case, what’s signal – infrequent, stark, attention-grabbing, usually not urgent but probably important information that will have a material effect on the quality and direction of the task.

Now, noise is normal, necessary and of course needs some attention. The challenge is separating noise from signal.

If noise is constant how do we distinguish signal?

How can we separate what’s most important from what’s kinda important?

How do we determine what’s run-of-the-mill stuff versus ideas, insights, and actions that will make a material difference over time?

What if we could tune in a little and hear it like this…noise, noise, noise, noise, SIGNAL, noise, noise.

Here are 3 quick tips on how:

Regularly, at least once a day, preferably hourly pause for 10 seconds – yes 10 seconds and ask yourself “What have I heard today?” and “What would I like to hear for the rest of the day?”.

Complete your SIGNAL tasks as early in the day as possible. Getting them done early before your day ‘runs away with you’ will fuel the important stuff.

Check-in with others – “What have you heard from what I’ve said?” or “What jumped out for you in our last town hall?” or “What’s the one thing?”.
So what about you? I’d love to know some examples from your own personal or professional lives about noise and signal.

Quote of the week:
Of all the variety of modern pollution, noise is the most insidious - Robert Lacey

It gets in the way of what’s most important, most meaningful, most joyful!

Question of the week:
How could you tune out the noise and tune in the signal?

What about the noise inside your head? Useful or not?

Get outside your head – activity, nature, touch grass etc – to distract from the noise inside your head.

Catch up on Freedom Fridays Episode 74 before next week's new release

In this episode, Pete chats with author and experienced business consultant Sharon Seivert. They discuss some of the challenges facing leaders now and into the future. Sharon shares the elements of Balanced Leadership – Core | Vision | Mission | Interact with people | Structure | Synergy – based on her latest book and they explore how those elements might show up for every level of the leadership experience.

Sharon shares some key thoughts about how to resist using fear, facts and force to influence and instead how to leverage the Superpowers explored in her latest book.

Sharon generously shares plenty of reference material in the show notes.


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