Time Mastery: How Temporal Intelligence Will Make You a Stronger, More Effective Leader
By John Clemens and Scott Dalrymple
Amacom, 2005, $21.95
Perhaps it’s the elusiveness of time that makes us think that if we can just map it out (in a PDA), compress it (through e-mail) or shift it (TiVo, anyone?), we can create more of it and use it better.
Instead of being time managers attempting to outwit the clock with these confrontational methods, John Clemens and Scott Dalrymple, authors of Time Mastery: How Temporal Intelligence Will Make You a Stronger, More Effective Leader, want us to become “time masters” by acquiring the “temporal intelligence” that can turn time into an ally. They define temporal intelligence as a mind-set with six attitudes toward time, including viewing time as subjective and elastic, and people and organizations as possessing unique rhythms.
The authors, who are management professors at Hartwick College, provide examples of temporal intelligence in the experiences of dozens of leaders they have identified as time masters. The power of this book lies in those experiences, as well as in the unusual way it analyzes familiar leadership issues with time in mind.
Take crisis management, for instance. A crisis situation seems to require an immediate response. Yet from Clemens and Dalrymple’s viewpoint, a more effective way for a leader to react is to “stop time,” with the goal of modeling the required staff perspective. “During a crisis, [I ] always put on the kettle” to make tea, says the director of a company that offers leadership training in the form of crewing a yacht. If the skipper introduces a note of normality, how bad can the situation be?
Time Mastery is full of persuasively argued, time-based solutions and is well worth putting on a summertime—or anytime—reading list.