Earlier this week, I had a very interesting conversation with someone who was ranting about the latest edition of the local radio station’s show during his morning commute. This show features callers who have very different perspectives on life, complain about what the government (pick any level) has or has not done, what the neighbours are doing wrong – you get the idea. It’s the kind of callers that radio ‘shock jocks’ dream about because they get people listening and talking about their show and the people that they feature. Even though many people talk down about these morning shows, they still listen. Otherwise, no one would be talking about it and the show would be pulled off of the airwaves! Unfortunately, it’s like a car wreck along a busy highway – people should be focusing on the road ahead but they strangely feel compelled to take their eyes off of the road and look at the carnage.
As leaders, we cannot afford to choose to spend our time listening to these shows, for several reasons:
- Leaders have a vision, much like a road – it’s not safe (or efficient) to get distracted by car wrecks.
- “You are an average of the five people that you spend most time with” is a great quote by Jim Rohn – it speaks to the influence that your surroundings have on you. This radio show does not help you become a better person, let alone a better leader.
- You can only focus on so many things during the course of a day – time spent on this show is taking your focus away from other things that would bring value to your life.
- Why aggravate yourself first thing in the morning?
Instead, you can choose to do something better with your time that would have been otherwise spent listening to that radio show:
- Listen to podcasts. These internet shows can be focused on very select topics – you could find several that match your particular interests. If you want niche shows specifically about health and fitness, science, entrepreneurship, or even leadership – it’s most likely out there as a podcast created by someone passionate about the topic.
- Change the channel. Something else (a news channel, music station, etc.) is a button push or knob twist away.
- Turn off the radio. You can take time to meditate, or reflect on opportunities and challenges that you are having in your life.
From the second that you wake up to the second that you fall asleep, you have many choices to make. As leaders, we accept responsibility for our choices. In this case, the person this morning chose to listen to the radio show, and thus by extension chose to get aggravated by its contents.
What about you – what do you choose to put into your head?
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