I read Cashman’s Leadership from the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life [affiliate] for the first time about a decade ago. In this prior work, Cashman shares theory and process for developing as an authentic leader. I confess: I’ve only read reviews and book summaries so far on “Pause,” and gave it a quick scan after ordering from my Amazon Wish List. This exposure, however, was sufficient to first intrigue and then evoke contemplation related to my intention journey.

From the reviews, The Pause Principle* [affiliate] shares the value of the pause for leaders. The “step back” allows for reflection, assessment in the moment, and focus. An analogy of archery illustrates the principle: the archer employs energy to draw, load and pull back on the bowstring. All the archer’s investment of developing skill, experience and strength for the task play into the process. Just prior to releasing the arrow, the archer pauses. That’s the moment of reflection, of clarity and focus, of intention. In the April 2013 Costco Connection, a summary of Cashman’s key concepts relays pausing for understanding, personal growth, team communication and collaboration, resilience and significance (p. 13).

We take note of pauses in speech or theater as signals to allow the prior phrase or action to sink in, while preparing for what’s next. The concept of the “pregnant” pause suggests the “next” is filled with importance and possibility. Pausing, however, is not simply the device to amplify dramatic effect. Pausing offers us an essential mechanism for creating and magnifying intention. My scholarly research focus involves transformative experience and reflective capacity. In this context, the pause allows for examining self and other, surfacing awareness in the moment, considering the options for change and growth, and then initiating action and intention.

With an abundance of to-do’s on our daily list, the pause provides awesome power to generate insight regarding purpose and consider the priorities of our lives and work. Have you paused today?

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*Click here to access a link to Kevin Cashman’s overview of The Pause Principle.

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