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The Leadership Pause

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The Leadership Pause

Sharpen Your Attention, Deepen Your Presence, and Navigate the Future

Chris Johnson,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Leaders must pause occasionally so they don’t burn out. Learn the secret to strategic rest.

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  • Insider's Take
  • Inspiring


Stopping to smell the roses is a faint dream for most leaders. This is particularly true for hard-pressed, high-level leaders who rush through their days. But, as psychologist Chris L. Johnson warns, “Your future success depends on your ability to pause.”Without periodic breaks, you can burn out. So how should leaders strategically rest and regroup? Johnson draws on neuroscience to explain the amazing “power of pause,”and to show leaders how to pause pragmatically. Her practical wisdom will help leaders maximize their effectiveness and recharge their creativity.


Life is not supposed to be frantic and frenzied. Take a pause; take many pauses.  

Modern life – a frantic go-go-go race – is incredibly complex and challenging. Often, it can be hugely dispiriting. The danger always lurks that, sooner or later, you’ll burn out – your plans ruined, your dreams unfulfilled, your potential unrealized. You’ll wonder where your energy went and how to get it back. The secret to surviving life’s constant churn lies in building the habit of taking short, planned, mindful pauses.  

These essential pauses provide special opportunities to listen to yourself and to the world in novel ways. Leaders, in particular, need both action and reflection to be effective. But, how can leaders become fully present in their lives if they never stop moving and never give themselves time to think? The short answer is, they can’t. And you can’t, either.

Periodic restorative pauses enable mindfulness and help you hear your inner “still, small voice.” 

Planned, occasional pauses give you time to achieve self-awareness and regain control of your...

About the Author

Chris L. Johnson, the founder of Q4 Consulting, teaches the neurobiology of experiential learning with mindful awareness.

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