Let me rephrase that…I recently spent an entire day cleaning out my clothes closet. Before you jump to any conclusions, you should know that I have a walk-in closet with a fair amount of room for my stuff. So, it’s not like opening the closet door resulted in some Fibber McGee and Molly routine, where stuff pours out onto the floor and buries the dogs. Still, things were packed in pretty tightly, and I was maybe one blouse away from invading my husband’s side, something he wasn’t too keen on.
So it was time to de-clutter, if only to give my remaining clothes some breathing room and a chance to remember what it was like not to have wrinkles.
As I sorted through what I would keep and what I would donate, I asked myself five questions:
- Have I used this in the last two years?
- Does this still serve me well given all I have to choose from?
- If I didn’t have this within reach, would I miss it?
- Is there someone I know who would benefit from having this?
- Does this have true sentimental value?
If I answered “No” to at least three of those questions, it went in the donation bag. I filled up several.
This got me thinking about how I may sometimes hang on to old tools and techniques when leading my teams. Do I get attached to a model or tool because it’s always worked in the past? Do I sometimes grow possessive of my ideas and resist sharing them? Do I look around to see who else might benefit from what I know?
Do I give my most valuable ideas room to breathe?
These aren’t just questions about clothes; these are questions about how we make decisions and learn about ourselves and that means, ultimately, about how we lead.
How about you? What would it take for you to become an “uncluttered leader?”