Leadership Time – Chronos and Kairos. Which one guides your day?

by Nov 24, 2010Insights, Leadership, Performance Management, Self awareness

I heard something from the pulpit a couple of weeks ago that really got me thinking.  In Greek there two words for time: chronos and kairos. 

Chronos refers to time as we measure it.  It is a quantitative measure.  As a western civilization, we put a great focus on chronos time with productivity tools, phones, emails, calendars, and multitasking.  As leaders we focus on keeping on schedule, preparing as we walk between meetings, and leveraging the help of others to make sure our days are productive and time is well spent.

Kairos refers to time as a right and opportune moments.  It refers to the space in between the chronos or sequential time when something special happens.  It is a qualitative measure.

What are these Kairos moments?  What about someone saying hello and asks us about our weekend?  Maybe it could be a voice disagreeing with something we needed to make a decision on yesterday, or our kids busting into the house to tell us about something exciting that happened to them today.  How about your elderly neighbor who cannot move fast enough to catch you at your mailbox, but is sitting on their porch waiting for a conversation.  It might even be inviting two people working through lunch to come out with you for a bite to eat.

Chronos will get taken care of because we are good at it, but sometime Kairos needs more of our attention.  What can you do as a leader to make Kairos more of a priority?  It is a good time of year to ask this question.

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