Self-reflection and regaining your sense of purpose and belonging are what changed the Grinch who stole Christmas — a lesson leaders could stand to learn, writes Dan Rockwell. “The Grinch hated the Whos because his heart was 2 sizes too small, not because the Whos were hate-worthy,” he writes.



In today’s fast-paced, frantic and frenzied world, there’s one thing above all else that leaders must do if they want to improve their attention, performance, relationships and—most of all—stress levels. Simply put, the secret to being a better leader is to have the discipline of pausing.

Pausing to gain focused attention. You can’t give your best when you’re doing more than one thing at a time. Many of my clients brag about how great they are at multitasking, but what they can’t brag about is being able to give the task at hand the attention it deserves . Just marking things off your to-do list doesn’t make you effective or productive. Great leaders have the discipline of pausing so they can focus their attention and concentration, and the result is excellent work .

Pausing to improve performance. Most people think in order to perform better you have to go faster and quicker to get there before your competition. But I’ve found that doing something quickly doesn’t mean you’re doing it well—in fact, the opposite is more often the case. The best way to improve your leadership, especially if you want stay ahead of your competition, is to discipline yourself to pause. Take the time to stop and think about what you are doing. The discipline of pausing will help you achieve the quality of work you want for yourself.

Pausing to connect more deeply. Making deep connections and developing purposeful relationships take time and discipline. Relationships are all about investing yourself in another person, and that’s not a process you can rush. Relationships need time to grow and develop. The best leaders don’t settle for superficial connections—they master the discipline of pausing so they can dive in deep for more meaningful connections.