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The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forwardby Kevin Cashman reveals to readers the secret to dealing with their insatiable compulsion to do more and more within any given day. Kevin shows that instead of simply doing more, professionals must learn to stop, reflect, and move forward in a deliberately different manner in order to achieve more. He goes on to provide the insights and tools for pausing to accomplish more in several key areas including:

- Personal leadership
- Employee development
- Innovative culture

Each section is concluded with a summary of the ‘Pause Practices’ needed to excel in that area as well as a ‘Pause Point’ containing provocative questions for visioning the future you are seeking to achieve.

I agree that today’s fast paced world compels professionals to act with a speed that limits deliberate consideration. Such restrictions heighten the risk of error, poor decisions, and deteriorating health. With the never ending push to do more with less, this condition is not likely to change soon.

The Pause Principle fills a gap within today’s leadership training. Seldom are leaders taught the value of and methods to slow down. Kevin provides actionable methods for professionals to constructively pause; using this time for valuable contemplation, innovation, and planning so to truly achieve more with less rather than at the expense of ones personal life and health.

To some extent, all professionals are decision-makers and quality decisions require deliberate contemplation. The Pause Principle reminds us of the importance of pausing so to apply the knowledge and experiences necessary for good decision-making – decision-making that leads to innovation and growth.

For its sound, immediately implementable actions promoting excellence by slowing down, The Pause Principle is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

All the Best,
Nathan Ives
StrategyDriven Principal
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In his previous book, Kevin Cashman advocates what he characterizes as "leadership from the inside out" and I certainly agree that the most effective leaders are authentic in terms of their character and values as well as their talents and expertise. Unless they are respected and trusted, no one will follow them.

All that said, there must also be "leadership from the oytside in" in terms of recognizing, understanding, and appreciating their hopes, needs, dreams, and concerns of those whose allegiance and support one aspires to attract and sustain. In his latest book, Cashman introduces what he characterizes as the "Pause Principle." That is, those occasions, when appropriate, leaders need to "pause to discover new ways of being and achieving" by becoming much more alert, more attentive, and more conscious in the given circumstances, especially in relations with those with whom the situation is shared. The purpose of the pause, then, is to reflect and hopefully see more clearly and understand more fully whatever is of greatest importance.

By nature and temperament, some people are more adept with regard to the Pause Principle than others are. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain observes, "Introverts thrive in environments that are not overstimulating--surroundings in which they can think (deeply) before they speak. This has many implications. Here are two to consider: (1) Introverts perform best in quiet, private workspaces--but unfortunately we're trending in precisely the opposite direction, toward open-plan offices. (2) If you want to get the best of all your employees' brains, don't simply throw them into a meeting and assume you're hearing everyone's ideas. You're not; you're hearing from the most vocally assertive people. Ask people to put their ideas in writing before the meeting, and make sure you give everyone time to speak."

The key point is not that everyone should be or become an introvert; rather, that there is much of value to learn from how introverts live and work. By nature, they do so with greater care for what they say or do, for example, and are more congenial collaborators and more reliable friends. This is precisely what Cashman has in mind when observing, "The Pause Principle is the conscious, intentional process of stepping back, within ourselves and outside of ourselves, to lead forward qith grerater authenticity, purpose, and contribution." Throughout history, the greatest leaders follow and are guided by what James O'Toole characterizes as an Executive Compass and by what Bill George characterizes as their True North. What Cashman offers in this book is a "value-creating methodology," one that "allows more examination, higher-order logic, rational analysis, more profound questioning, deeper listening, higher-quality oresence, btoader oerspectuve, greater openness to diverse thinking and input, and uktimately more impactful, influentional, and innovative action."

These are among the dozens of passages that caught my eye:

o Fighting Fires with Pause (Pages 12-13)
o The Power of Questions: The Language of Pause (21-22)
o Brining Ckarity to Complexity (24-28)
o What Is This Thing Called Character? (45-52)
o Transcendental Pause (66-72)
o The Power of Synergy (81-82)
o The Language of Growing Others: The Language of Pause (86-94)
o Step Back to Lead Forward: Seven Pause Practices to Grow Others (103-106)
o The World Belongs to the Innovative (107-111)
o Fail Your Way to Innovation (116-118)

I agree with Kevin Cashman that it is up to all of us, in all areas of our lives, to "pause it forward with authenticity, purpose, and generativity." Long ago, Hillel the Elder (c. 60 BC-10 AD) asked, "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?" After we pause to recognize and understand what we can achieve together, we must then do what must be done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2012
The Pause Principle | Step Back to Lead Forward by Kevin Cashman

Simply outstanding. The premise of the book is that great leaders need to pause. We are introduced to the Pause Principle, then spend time in personal leadership, then helping to grow others, and finally, we grow cultures of innovation. All by pausing.

What makes it a difficult book to review is that I have completely highlighted the book with so much highlighting that I had to move to multiple colors, then switch to stickies. Then to folding pages.

Good thing for real paper pages. My Kindle would look rather silly.

Cashman is a clear, direct, distinctive writer. No big words. No lingo. No self importance. Just clear concepts with excellent stories and pointed questions, questions we need to take time to absorb.

The questions make me pause.

As I read the book, I felt torn between staying in the questions of Pause Points, wanting to spend days and weeks in these questions to the excitement of the next page. Yeah, it's pretty geeky to get this excited about a leadership book.

Closing out the book, he includes his notes for each chapter, as well as the bibliography. The book is so good that I read all of those pages too and have another 10 books to read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not paid for this review. This is a fabulous book and I will read it again. And again. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
I love the principle and have for a long time. Basically - step back and pause to gain efficiency and for true clarity.

As a time management guy, I have spent much time studying and honing my efficiency systems. Much of this efficiency is based on "never waste a minute". So I deliberately think of how I can reduce the gaps and fill them with productive tasks.

The Pause Principle challenges that constant motion and activity. Some of our greatest creativity and problem solving (which is often our highest value) can happen by Pausing. Stop and relax, deliberate and solutions will flow.

I think subconsciously I knew I needed this pause for productivity so I built in a few activities that involve pause. For me, exercise and gardening are two pause activities. True pause would be to break without having to do anything.

The book is simply a reminder with the research to back it up and the ideas on how to implement the Pause.

I now need to think of the pause as a productivity tool. I do not think of myself as old but do notice my energy is less than when I was younger. My sense is over time, I will need to evolve a different pace and work style.

Good book - good reminder to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
As a long-time manager in large organizations, and in my current work as an organizational consultant, I often hear these ubiquitous complaints: "I'm too busy. I have no time to think. That will have to wait." Tight schedules and long to-do lists are leaving people stressed, distracted and burnt out. How can that be good for them or their organizations?

Leaders would be well-served to invest time in reading this excellent defense of the productive pause. Cashman's message shows the value in saying, "Pausing will make me more productive. Time to observe, question, and reflect before acting creates a great pay-off. I can't afford to wait for my schedule to slow down -- I'll make it a priority to give myself space."

Cashman's book is both spiritual and practical. His Big Idea is that stepping back helps people move forward more quickly and thoughtfully. Seven common-sense pause principles illustrate the benefits of temporary disconnection from the cacophony of too much information, the pull of too much to do, and the insane expectations of a 24/7 global world.

And he doesn't ask us to take his word for it. The book touts research that supports his contention: The mindful pause will make us more powerful and productive. He breathes life into the research through the skillful use of his and others' stories. The combination of data and anecdote vividly illustrates how embracing this leadership tool will help people become more intentional and focused, energized and innovative.

As a long-time yoga practitioner, I appreciate the power of a long, deep breath. Cashman's advocacy for its equivalent in the business world is refreshing. Pausing is a leadership principle that has for too long been underutilized and undervalued.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
Mr. Cashman's book falls into what I would call the category of "common sense and not common practice." We all realize that true breakthroughs in our thinking and leadership of others comes by taking time to reflect, to think, and consider possibilities and, yet, in practice how many of us actually set aside the time to do so? In my experience, not many (myself too often included). Cashman lays out a compelling case for why doing so is necessary and, beyond that, how exactly to go about it. His breakdown of how to grow oneself, others, and create a whole culture of innovation is simple and profound. Notice I didn't say it's "simplistic." It's not, but the concept and the way in which Cashman writes about it is elegantly simple which in my estimation is tremendously refreshing.

This is an important book and a genuine contribution to our understanding of what authentic and visionary leaders do to make themselves that way. Buy it...read it...savor it. I read (or at least start), tens of new management and leadership books each year. I read this one twice and marked up the margins with a bunch of scribbles and notes. I've recommended it to three CEOs with whom I work and I've gotten big thumbs up from two of them (the third hasn't cracked it yet; he's too caught up in what Covey used to call Quadrant I and III activities...busy being busy. He'll come around...)

I'm grateful to Mr. Cashman for opening a vein and writing this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
I have worked with Kevin closely at Korn Ferry, during that period he describes in his book when his firm was being absorbed into Korn Ferry. What I have said to Kevin is that one learns a lot about individuals when they are going through their own personal crucibles. Kevin displayed incredible grace and composure during this period of his life and now I know why: He was acting out what he talks about in his book. I have further said to Kevin that I see great convergence out there in all disciplines around this thing called mindfulness, of which I view "pause" as almost synonymous. I see it in my work with senior executives. My wife who is a child psychologist employs it everyday in her practice with children. We see it referred to in the pulpits. All this is happening for a reason, and I believe it is because this is the only way forward in our very busy world. Congratulations, Kevin on nursing this for ten or so years and then getting it out there-your work is so needed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2012
Kevin Cashman, a seasoned scholar of executives and leadership behavior, has made an important mark in his latest book, The Pause Principle. While there are a lot of business books on the shelves today making organizational analogies to everything from cheese and carrots to circuses and Shackleton, The Pause Principle seems to come from deeper roots in truth and his astute observation of human experience. He reminds us that the second law of thermodynamics even shows that as activity lessens, order increases. Kevin gives us clear guidelines and models on how to develop Three Domains of Growth: Growing Ourselves, Growing Others and Growing Innovative Cultures in our organizations. His call to us goes beyond giving permission for us to slow down, to pause and step back from the epidemic of busyness in our business lives, to seek inner and higher counsel before we make big decisions...he cautions us to be more aware of what happens when we don't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2012
Kevin has the uncanny ability to help you become a better person by inviting you to reflect on the simple, basic truths of the human experience. And we need these moments of reflection now more than ever. So many of us are spinning our wheels faster and faster without realizing there's a quicker route right next to us...if we could only slow down to see it. As Kevin reminds us, individuals, teams and organizations alike are constantly spinning their wheels. His book helps us find practical ways to take a deep breath and see the big picture so we can find better, innovative ways to accelerate our progress. I've been able to apply these lessons in my day-to-day as well as with my clients. Thanks for giving pause a much needed renewed meaning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2012
An important book on an aspect of leadership little discussed and not easily articulated. Leaders will be grateful to Kevin Cashman for illuminating his 7 Principles of Pause which starts by reflecting on the question, "Where is your leadership coming from?" I loved reading a business book that asks me "to be" rather than "do"! Although counterintuitive given our pressured and unpredictable work environments, it makes a lot of sense to be quiet-- to give yourself the opportunity to connect with your sense of purpose and lead with character. This practice brings a sustainable, value-force of energy to oneself and to others in the organization that will definitely lead to transformative growth.
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