Stop Your Next Presentation to Honor the Now

Aha! product roadmap software team presentation

I am always thinking about what’s next at work. (Even on vacation sometimes, like now.) But at our recent, all-team meeting I made a conscious decision to stop. And I did something I have never done before — I interrupted my presentation and asked everyone to stop too. I wanted us all to take a moment to be in the “now.”

It was a purposeful break with a message — the new is not always better than right now. Sometimes now is all there should be.

There is always a new feature, new project, new goal. There is a new person to interview and a new customer to help. We all tend to get focused on the new. I took that break because I thought we all needed the reminder — to acknowledge where we are. And the timing was right.

See, the entire company was in one large meeting room together — something that only happens twice a year for our fully distributed and global team. And we had some enormous accomplishments to enjoy together. Aha! is now one of the fastest-growing software companies in the United States, serving more than 100,000 users. We even wrote a bestselling book on how we did it.

But we did not achieve those accomplishments by constantly looking ahead — always looking for how big we could grow the company or how fast we could exit. We did it by staying gritty and focusing on the hard work that was right in front of us. And we built a framework for how we do the work right here and now — The Responsive Method (TRM).

TRM is grounded in the belief that interactions with urgency move people and organizations forward. Whether it is a bug, a customer request, or a teammate’s need, we strive to focus on the issue that is right in front of us. Our team is filled with smart people who are doing good work.

I want us all to remember that life is short — so we should push to be our best every day. And every so often, stop to take pride in each other and what we have accomplished.

That break I took during our meeting was a short one, but it was unusual. I laid down on the floor and counted to 60, which seemed like a very long time to pause during a presentation. And I am glad I did. It was one of the most memorable moments of my career, and I know that the team will remember it too.

I hope that we will also remember this — new is where adventure lies, but the now is where our accomplishments and memories are created.

How do you stop and appreciate the now?

About Brian and Aha!

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product roadmap software — and the author of Lovability. His two previous startups were acquired by well-known public companies. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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Comments

  1. Linda Braskamp

    Every day I create a gratitude list with three items. The items cannot repeat. It makes me think since it’s not the big stuff, those are easy to remember, but the little ones that make you truly grateful and keeps you in the presence

    Reply

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