Posted by: Brandon W. Jones | April 21, 2011

Taking a Leadership Timeout

Right now I am in the early stages of parenthood.  My wife and I have a young girl.  As a parent, we have found that an effective tool in getting our little girl to behave is to give her short and quick “timeouts”.  When she begins to misbehave or act out, we will put her into a timeout.  The timeout is never for very long, but it is just enough to get her back on track.

Timeouts are very helpful for leaders.  They give leaders a chance to regroup and figure out how they want to move forward.  Timeouts are also very helpful when leaders get very busy, over-occupied, and sometimes overwhelmed.  For leaders, timeouts can be short of just a few minutes or they can be a more extended time.

I learned the importance of taking timeouts several years ago when I was a young leader.   One of my subordinates was very wise and taught me a lot.  In the day-to-day work, we faced many challenges and difficult situations.  It was a working environment where one could easily lose their cool if they did not keep themselves in check.  When those challenging situations arose, my subordinate would always remind me to take a moment to collect my thoughts before acting or saying something I would later regret.  From time to time I noticed that she would do the same thing.  This approach was a great approach to take.

How have timeouts been helpful for you as a leader?



  1. You always have very thought provoking things to share!

    • Thanks! I am glad you enjoy reading my blog posts!

  2. I’d just like to tell you how great your blog is! 😀
    Each of the posts are quite interesting- most of which on things I’ve never even considered, and inspiring too. Keep the great work up!

    • Welcome Ellie! Thank you for your comment! I really appreciate your support!

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