I’m just on my way back from Florida where I was the opening keynote for a conference for the retail supply chain, focusing on the theme: going the distance. Of course we need the supply chain to go the distance because without it, we are not able to function at the degree we have become used to in our modern lives. Folks involved in the supply chain have been through a lot over the past years, with all the disruptions that came with COVID and yet, they still care.

My talk was on Power-Pausing as the key to unlocking our ability to go the distance, without burning out. In my talks I always point out that we humans are amazing and our capacity to think, engage, and act with care and on purpose is unique to us, and yet we often don’t harness that because we are so focused on keeping up with the speed of work: meet deadlines, deliver on time, and achieve results.

Now we can’t change what’s expected of us. Let’s face it, you still want your food, products and other essentials like toilet paper to be on the shelves in the store when you need it… right?

One of the challenges of change is to shift our perspective from producing results to how we achieve the results – which comes back to people.

Even if technology is stepping in to take over in the process, it still comes back to people and how we each work better when we are supported and how we work better together when we feel safe, that we matter, and our contribution makes a difference.


The question always comes back to: how do we change this automatic reaction mode that we humans run on every day to just do, do, do and do more?

There is no easy way even if it is simple. There is no change without learning to pause, listen for just a little longer and ask questions that align with what matters and what we aim to achieve.

The automatic reaction that happens under stress makes us more stressed and leaves us feeling more loss of control. It’s a funny paradox really. You have heard me say this before: under stress we focus on what’s not working rather than being curious about how to make it work.

Most people think they don’t have time to pause, when the reality is we don’t have time not to. For us to cut through the noise of challenges and problems and think with more clarity, we must pause. Without it we simply react and do what we have always done, which is how we get stuck on that hamster wheel, where our thoughts are running faster than we are able to. Thoughts that make us feel more disempowered and less capable, focusing on all the things we are not able to get done.

If you were to note down your thoughts throughout the day you would not only find that you have thousands of them, you would also find that most of them are not productive and constructive, unless you actively choose with intention how you want to direct your attention.

How do you intentionally direct your attention? By changing the question. Your mind will answer the question you ask it and with that, you are either stuck in the pothole of asking yourself what’s not working, or asking yourself what you need right now so that you can steer past the pothole.

The way we work better together too is by asking constructive questions about how to get to where we are going and being willing to listen to people’s thoughts and suggestions.

The only way to create change is by doing things differently. What I loved about the conference was the eco-system of the supply chain coming together to exchange ideas, including competitors.

That’s the power of care – pausing for a moment to be curious about what’s possible. It takes each of us and all of us to create change, however the ripple effect starts every time one person cares enough to pause, listen and ask better questions.