When you stop delivering, magical things happen

Jimmy Burroughes
5 min readSep 28, 2022

Our house buyer’s change of financial situation meant they couldn’t go through with the deal to purchase our home — 6 days from closing. A project we had been working on for nearly 6 months. We were also 3 weeks from leaving Mexico and heading back to Europe. Everything had been planned and now this new challenge meant we needed to move quickly with a significant change of plans.

I was feeling the pressure and feeling the danger of burning out. This was just another thing that needed dealing with on top of the other things happening in our little world. It made me think, I can’t be the only one feeling this. Perhaps you are too?

Let’s call it the dElivery cycle. It might feel familiar.

A challenge/problem arises, you marshall resources, and you get it done. But you don’t have time to stop and think, because another thing, and another, and another come along. We call this dElivery cycle because using our PEARL model, all you are doing is — Executing. You don’t get any further around the model. It’s intense and it seems endless — a game of whack-a-mole if you like.

When was the last time you truly reflected and stopped to take in the lessons you have learned from all that delivery? We truly believe in it. So much so that it’s built into every module of WoW to make time for our participants to allow reflection and learning.

I know that in those last couple of weeks in Mexico though, I wasn’t stopping to reflect. Instead, I found myself saying things like “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”. Does that sound familiar?

Well, it turns out that when you do stop and take the time out, magical things can happen. Sometimes it can feel like you need to force yourself because, for people in the dElivery cycle, those pesky moles are going to keep coming!

I consciously decided that a break from posting on social media and blogging would create some capacity for reflection and learning but also some time for recharging.

I still planned to deliver on workshop commitments but reduce the intensity of work. I needed to spend some time thinking about how we could continue improving WoW to make it the best people-centric performance program ever designed.

Initially, I panicked that I hadn’t made the right choice about dropping social media. If I wasn’t making social posts and blogs every day/week would people forget about me? Would they feel my value was less or I wasn’t delivering?

Like many, I become fixated on dElivery so much because I think everyone is watching. When in reality, they actually aren’t. They are worrying that everyone is watching them.

So what happened during this time off social media and blogs I hear you ask? I am back on social media and blogs to tell you about it.

For background, WoW has been a real hit with clients and their teams. Over 92% of participants would recommend it. We have been running a 3-module architecture (align, accelerate and sustain), and also support cohort leaders by inviting them to a WoW Monthly Mastermind.

When we looked deeper, we saw many leaders needed more support to coach their teams outside of the sessions we offered, and they weren’t equipped for this. Quite simply, they too were stuck in dElivery and struggling to shift their mindsets and approach to new ways of thinking and working. Equally, if they weren’t taking time to reflect, they struggled to support their team members to do it.

Our solution was simple but powerful — a GROW Coaching for Leaders Mini-program which can integrate seamlessly with WoW or can also stand on its own.

This coaching approach reinforces the WoW principles of building trust, creating connection, and driving performance with those around you. It’s suitable for any leader or future leader. In it we cover:

  • 🧠 Coaching mindset
  • 🔍 The power of curiosity and questions
  • 💡 Coachee mindset — fear, trust and icebreakers
  • 👂 Active Listening
  • 💪🏼 Strengths-based coaching
  • 🌱 The GROW model unpacked and explained
  • ↔️ Coaching application in reality with feedback

I was excited to get this new insight into action and being true to the PEARL method, we did a couple of pilots to gather data. Here’s a snapshot of the results:

  • 97% — of participants strongly agreed it was a good use of their time
  • 97% — strongly agreed they had the opportunity to practice the skills learned for real at least once, and get some feedback
  • 97% — would recommend this program (a 5% improvement!)
  • 100% — strongly agreed the session was well organized and run

The most important thing we learned from the experience was that leaders really want more support here, and we are well placed to deliver it.

There seems to be a lot of leaders out there experiencing the same challenges. Too much to do, not enough time, and no headspace to .

I intuitively knew that but without taking that valuable time out, I’d never have had the headspace to create something that was going to make the biggest difference. What are you blocking from being created by being in the dElivery cycle and not reflecting or learning from? I’d love to know.

And if you’d like some help to overcome the burnout delivery cycle and create great conversations which shift the dial for you and your team, we’d love to help.

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When you are ready, here are a few ways you can connect with me.

  1. Join our FB Group — Be a Better Leader. It’s full of tips and tricks
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Jimmy Burroughes

Showing leaders and teams how to change their conversations to change their business performance results. jimmyburroughes.com