Are You Managing Your Attention? Or Your Time?

The question, posed by writer/consultant and former Microsoft and Apple executive, Linda Stone, an attendee at The Corporate State Summit in Vancouver, turned heads.

Kate Harrington

Panelist Kate Harrington, VP of Learning and Enablement for Rogers Communications, took the lead in tackling the question and launching the debate. Kate admitted “I’ve made a choice and I know there are consequences.”

Long travel works for a short period of time, but not in the long-term. Balancing work, school/community and family is challenging and one part of life cannot be continuously put on the back burner – there needs to be a rotation.

The panel discussion dug deep into the question of leadership and stress. Some thrive on it and in fact feel more stress when work slows. Betty Harrison, Senior Partner at Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP admitted, “I love to work. My family had to tell me when I was taking on too much. When I’m really stressed is when the phone doesn’t ring and the emails don’t come in.”

Betty Harrison and Amy Dorn Kopelan

How does stress really impact leadership?

Moderator Amy Dorn Kopelan quoted an article from The Well Being Journal that talked about personal regeneration and stress.  Our bodies go through physical regeneration between 10 PM and 2 AM, and  mental regeneration from 2 AM-6 AM. For those leaders who say stress, even the “good” kind, depletes their sleep, they may be putting their bodies at risk.

Back to the issue of managing your attention versus your time, Linda Stone reasserted that people who manage their “attention” actually don’t experience as much burnout as those who try to control their time.

Panelist Lisa Martin shares a story about handling stress

When the question was posed about leaders being able to re-pattern their thinking, Lisa Martin, leadership coach and author of Briefcase Moms, affirmed that leaders can, through cognitive therapy, change mood and frames of thinking, and ultimately behavior. And that can filter down and affect an entire team. She added, “Stress is not the enemy. We have to fully engage ourselves and then fully rest.” She encouraged leaders to consider the value of “purposeful dis-engagement.”

Summit Photos by Rosa Tang

Panelist Marty Avery takes in a question

Panelist Christina Anthony finds something to laugh at in a
“Stressful” discussion


Categories: Stress


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