EM 186 | Clay Scroggins on Navigating Internal & External Noise as a Leader [REPLAY]


Welcome to Executive Minds! This week, Kevin Jennings sits down with Clay Scroggins, the Lead Pastor of Buckhead Church in Atlanta, GA. As a leader, speaker, and thinker, Clay is also the author of How to Lead in a World of Distraction: Four Simple Habits for Turning Down the Noise) which was released September 2019. His previous book, How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority released in 2017.

Links + Resources

How to Lead in a World of Distraction

Clay Scroggins

Three Takeaways:

Strengthen Your Emotional Health

We’re less emotionally aware than we’ve ever been. Emotions are messengers that tell us how we are doing. Too often, distractions get in the way of focusing on our emotional health. It’s important to identify what we are using to distract ourselves. We are avoiding and masking things in our lives by leaning into the distractions. And distractions kill our curiosity. Take this opportunity to be introspective and identify your noise. Figure out what it is, pattern or behaviors, that are serving as distractions. Experiment with changing it by employing the scientific method. Make a hypothesis, identify a variable and change it. This could vary in actions from taking a social media break for one day out of the week or cutting out alcohol. Whatever it is, discovery is on the other side of that distraction.

How Do Work Distractions Affect People in their Lives

Your personal growth is never just personal. Being a ‘better me’ is only partially true. Your development affects everyone around you. When you lead yourself well, it makes you a better spouse, partner, friend, parent, etc. All of those balls that you’re juggling in the air aren’t separate but actually connected. Therefore, when you have distractions at work, it plays out in your personal life. We run from things we don’t want to feel - inlaws, health, etc. It’s important to ask, ‘what am I trying to avoid?’ and then ask yourself ‘why is that the case?’. We have to become investigative detectives regarding our personal distractions because they won’t look the same for everybody. We have to turn down the noise low enough and long enough to be ruthlessly curious about our lives. Our breakthrough is dependent on it.

How Can Leaders Help their Team Overcome Distractions

Firsts, it starts with yourself. Be transparent and vulnerable about what you’ve experienced with regard to distractions and noise. It opens others up to identify negative patterns in their own life.

Secondly, show your team that if they put in place a personal boundary, then you’ll respect it. Perhaps it looks like honoring the vacation time of your employees and allowing them space. Or maybe it’s offering therapy and counseling services. This is a symbol that communicates that their personal health is a priority to us. You understand that they can’t be a great employee unless they are as healthy as can be. Essentially, it’s imperative to show your team that you care about the people more than the job that they’re doing. It creates a culture where you’re getting a lot of great work done but also attracts people that will have the freedom to get healthy.