Who Is Your Lunch Date?
This question is for leaders of all levels: Who’s your lunch date each day? Monday through Friday, who do you break bread with?
Quick math tells us that we have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-230 workweek lunches each year, after we take out weekends, vacation time, and holidays. This is an incredibly fertile resource we shouldn’t squander. When we break bread, we let down our guard. We open up. Plus, eating is often one of the high points of our day. Tap into that.
Here are some “Yes… buts” I hear when I recommend this to leaders:
- Too busy doing your job? Your frontline people are your job!!
- Maybe you travel a lot on business. Fine. Eat with your workmates there.
- If those are clients, all the better! Eat with them and learn about their business, then bring that back to help your company better serve them – or to do things better yourself!
- If you find yourself eating with your boss or other management, you’re likely managing up – which deserves a post of its own. Here’s my advice: kick that habit like a chain smoker with emphysema, before it kills your company. Gently explain to your boss that you have real work to do, and have to meet with her some other time.*
- If you find yourself scarfing a sandwich at your desk as you pour over a spreadsheet or update a report, find an executive coach who specializes in time management. The more competent the leader, the more white space she has on her calendar. (How competent a leader are you?)
This shift in your workday priorities and behavior will vault your leadership to a new level. Try it and see
*I know, I know: “I can’t tell this to my boss.” As Jane and I like to say to our children, “Do your best.” As we often add, “Just get it done.” You’re clever, or you wouldn’t be where you are today. Use your creativity to find the way.
Photo by MADemsoseille