The Beauty of Slowing Down

Leadership and going slowly often appear to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

For most of us, our days are spent rushing. Everything is urgent, and the constant stream of meetings, deadlines, travel and matters needing our attention means assuming a quick and deadly pace is the preferred mode of function.

And it’s not just leaders who find it difficult to walk at a leisurely speed at times. Modern technology and life in general are simply not conducive to slowing down.

But lately I have come to realise the power of taking things a little easier from time to time.

Slowing down

I took part in ‘The Slow Down Challenge‘, an initiative designed by writer Jeff Goins, which was described as a five-day series of reflection and action that would help me to:

1.  Live with greater intentionality.

2  Have better focus.

3.  And develop deeper relationships.

Each day I received an email to guide me on slowing down. It was an enlightening (and at times sobering) experience.

One of the biggest insights was changing my perception of interruptions. Instead of viewing them as annoying disturbances to whichever ‘task’ that was in front of me, I learned to see the value and potential ‘gift’ when someone approaches you.

I ended up having the most inspirational and deeply impactful conversation with someone which could possibly have not even unfolded had I viewed them as an ‘interruption’ on that particular day.

I reflected, listened, savoured, and became more present in the moment with whoever I happened to be with and whatever I was doing.

My appreciation for the everyday things grew – like going for a run, being fully present (without attachment to outcomes) with my clients I was coaching and tucking my kids into bed at night. I saw the magnificent in the mundane. I saw the beauty around me in places I had never seen, but had always been there. In other people, in nature, and in me.

The irony is that in the week I undertook the challenge, and consciously slowed down amidst all of my rushing, I had one of the most productive and creative weeks of the last six months! So slowing down does not necessarily mean doing less, or achieving little.  It can mean the exact opposite, it just means you are more likely to enjoy the ride a little more along the way.

Slowing down is undeniably a big challenge to tackle, particularly in the fast-paced business environment. But when we harness the power of it, great things can happen. And if I can do it, anyone can.

What are you going to do this weekend to slow down?


  1. […] it was the camaraderie or the way the game teaches the value of slowing down and patience. Or learning to enjoy the challenges (aka bunkers and rough) – after all, […]

  2. Crisp Home on September 13, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Love your posts Suzi!! You seem to hit the nail on the head every time! I so get what you write.

    Well done you are doing an amazing job with your blog. Hope you have a lovely weekend.


    Julia Paul Managing Director Crisp Home Ltd

    Phone 0800 2 Crisp Mobile 021 420 494 [email protected]

    • The Leader's Digest on September 15, 2013 at 8:05 am

      Hi Julia,

      Thanks for your lovely comment, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog. Keep in touch!


Leave a Comment

Recent Posts from The Leader's Digest

Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

Welcome to

The Leader's Digest

Subscribe to The Leader’s Digest

Receive trending leadership topics and tips, straight to your inbox.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Internationally Recognised


The Leader's Digest App