“Very often, human beings are living like on autopilot, reacting automatically with what happens. What interests me about the life of an explorer is you are in the unknown; you are out of your habits.” —Bertrand Piccard
By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM
Autopilot is about habit. It’s about operating based on habit rather than consciously responding to the situation and circumstances surrounding you. When you are in autopilot mode, it’s like you have blinders on; you miss many signs, symptoms, and opportunities. Autopilot plays a role in every area of our lives. It becomes particularly concerning when it starts to impact the behaviors of leaders. So, how can you take your leadership off autopilot?
When you are curious you seek out the new, the unknown, the interesting. To the curious leader, the blinders of autopilot are too restrictive; they are thrown aside and exchanged for a new perspective of curiosity. Curiosity helps keep you from operating out of habit.
When you are present you pay attention to the details of what is happening here and now. When you pay attention your autopilot is shut down. Being present as a leader keeps your focus on what is happening and this laser focus helps prevent you from unconsciously falling into your ordinary habits.
When you are engaged, you are actively participating. Active participation turns off autopilot. It boosts the energy and excitement in which you approach your leadership. When you are engaged it’s much easier to act purposefully rather than out of habit.
Break the Habit
Step out of your habits and into the unknown. Take off the blinders and start being curious. Become focused and present. Be engaged, becoming an active participant in your leadership. It’s time to break the habit and take your leadership off autopilot.
© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.