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DOing in the moment

by Miki Saxon

Steady readers know that I’m a big fan of “leaders in the instance” and I found confirmation of the idea in a comment by Michele Goins, chief information officer for Hewlett-Packard’s Imaging and Printing Group.

“Leadership opportunities are presented to everyone, what makes the difference between being a leader or not is how you respond in the moment.

Call it instant vision—the ability to see what needs to be done and then spearhead the effort to do it.

Everybody has multiple opportunities to lead every day, a few large, but most are small; a few that will attract wide notice, but most will not.

Some people pick and choose—expending effort only when they believe it will pay off; DOing only when they’re sure their actions will be noticed by the powers-that-be. What they don’t seem to realize is that all those small efforts add up, often bringing more value than the big, splashy ones.

Choosing when to lead often indicates a narrower, self-focused MAP (mindset, attitude, philosophy) that doesn’t bode well for the team or for accomplishing the company’s goals.

Sure, everybody’s interested in “what’s in it or me,” but when that mindset becomes the filter through which all decisions are run the individual’s value to the organization plummets.

The more you practice leading in the moment the more value you bring to the table. Eventually it will be noticed and rewarded—and if your own bosses aren’t smart enough to see it, be assured that others will.

4 Responses to “DOing in the moment”
  1. David ZingerNo Gravatar Says:


    I thought I’d TAKE A MOMENT to voice my agreement with your premise. We only have moments to live.

    I quite like the work of Ed Hallowell on the HUMAN MOMENT. He has a book and also an article on the Harvard Business Review on the topic.

    In addition Jane Dutton has shown that high quality interactions, those precious moments between people, are the single biggest contributor to organizational energy.

    Keep making the best of your moments.


  2. Negative personal traits dominating positive leadership characteristics | Managing Leadership Says:

    […] Today’s tip: Speaking of confusing cause and effect, please see this insightful piece, by Eric Brown, about results and process. Please also view this excellent article by Miki Saxon about “in the moment” leadership. […]

  3. Becky RobinsonNo Gravatar Says:

    Miki, I love your idea that all the small moments will have a larger impact than the big moments. It is a good reminder to take the effort to contribute even in ways that may not be noticed. Thanks!

  4. Miki SaxonNo Gravatar Says:

    Becky, I’m glad you like it. To paraphrase old wisdom– the past cannot be changed, the future is a dream, but the present is within our grasp to do with as we please.

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