Book Review: How to Lead in a World of Distraction

How to Lead in a World of Distraction by Clay Scroggins was COMPLETELY different than what I assumed it would be about. I am so grateful for the way that this book unpacked so many things that I’ve been working through and identified areas that I need to continue to address on a regular basis. When Clay talked about “don’t take the bait” as it relates to our emotions and the way that simple step can keep us focused on the right things, that was so helpful! I’ve used that many times already this week.

Great leaders turn down the noise low enough and long enough to be ruthlessly curious about their emotions.” Location 2206 

I learned a ton while reading this book and posted below some things I highlighted while reading…

  • Despite the increase of face time between children and parents, the quality of our engagement with one another is decreasing. Location 166 
  • For all the talk about children’s screen time, surprisingly little attention is paid to screen use by parents themselves, who now suffer from what the technology expert Linda Stone more than 20 years ago called “continuous partial attention.” This condition is harming not just us, as Stone has argued; it is harming our children. The new parental-interaction style can interrupt an ancient emotional cueing system, whose hallmark is responsive communication, the basis of most human learning. We’re in uncharted territory. Location 168 
  • In the weeks that followed, I was able to identify several problems caused by distractions, and after categorizing and combining them, I’ve narrowed them down to three price tags you’ll need to pay, if not now, then at some point in the future: 1. The opportunity cost of the unknown. 2. The lack of traction caused by the distraction. 3. The failure to live your best life. Location 247 
  • That time, that energy, that moment where you are present—it’s sacrificed and lost. An opportunity is lost with every distraction we feed. Location 259 
  • The simple definition of a distraction is “something that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.” Location 348 
  • When we give our attention to anything, it will draw us away from something else. And that means that even good things like wanting to learn or wanting to be healthy can become distractions. It all depends on what you actually need to be focused on right now. Location 356 
  • If human beings need some noise in their lives to function in a healthy way, the question becomes: How much is healthy, and how much is too much? Location 414 
  • Either you’ll learn to handle your emotions or your emotions will end up handling you. Location 556 
  • To examine your life, you must learn to name your noise, experiment with turning down the volume, and then listen to what’s left in the quiet that follows. Location 680 
  • Your leadership and personal influence are among the greatest things you’ll invest in during your lifetime. Location 821 
  • Too often we allow our emotions to sit in the driver’s seat, taking up that leadership space without any interrogation or confrontation. Location 1042 
  • Great leaders turn down the noise low enough and long enough to be ruthlessly curious about their emotions. Location 1085 
  • As you grow in emotional health, you will grow in influence. As you grow in influence, you will grow in opportunities. Location 1387 
  • Proverbs 25:28 (NASB): “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” Location 1408 
  • As you get started on the road to emotional health and greater self-awareness, everything in you is going to want to focus on the visible results. You may be drawn to the things that others praise you for, the things that earn attaboys and congratulations for a job well done. But it’s the invisible habits of self-reflection, self-inspection, and self-discovery that will allow you to develop into the leader you want to be. Location 1437 
  • The destination you desire will determine the direction you choose. Location 1747 
  • That voice inside your head has power. It can control your day by discouraging and demotivating, or it can encourage and empower. The great news is, it’s up to you. You are able to control that little voice. Really, you can. | Location 1803 
  • I use the question, “What does this person need from me?” as a way to jog my thoughts toward others. Location 2082 
  • Great leaders turn down the noise low enough and long enough to be ruthlessly curious about their emotions. Location 2206 
  • Finding your why fights our culture’s glorification of materialism and busyness. Speaking to yourself trains you to listen so you can understand your own thoughts—a counterintuitive idea in a world that is always trying to tell you something new. And getting quiet flies in the face of a loud culture that constantly demands your attention. Location 2246 
  • Turning down the noise of work does something profound in me and teaches me three things.
    1. First, it tells me that I’m not that important. When I leave work alone for a few days, I’m reminded that life is going to move along with or without me. The lesson that life goes on without us has a huge positive impact on our emotional stability and health.
    2. Second, I learn that work is not my life. When all I do is work, my whole life is work. When I take a break from work, I’m able to put work in its proper place. My work and my personal life are not at odds. They are actually interdependent. I depend on them both for my life to be as healthy as possible. When I step away from work, I realize where work should be placed in the order of importance in my life.
    3. Finally, taking a break from work teaches me to think about work differently. It allows me to think about it from a higher and broader perspective, which in turn allows me to see things about my day-to-day work that I wouldn’t otherwise see. Location 2346 
  • What are the areas of your life where you need a break? What keeps you from finding rest? Can you take time away from that thing? If so, what do you think the benefits will be? Location 2376 
  • Rhythm as a Way to Remember Location 2387 
  • Rhythm as a Reminder Location 2402 
  • Rhythm in Order to Replenish Location 2415 
  • Growth requires change. Change requires giving up something today for something better tomorrow.  Location 2487 
  • “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Location 2517 
  • You can’t care well for others until you’re caring well for yourself. Location 2618 
  • Let’s raise the volume of our influence by turning down the noise! Location 2639 

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