From FOMO to JOMO

These people are actually getting on with work while the rest of their office is in a rubbish meeting. Photo by LYCS LYCS on Unsplash

This post is about strategic thinking and decision making. It’s one of the big challenges that First Time Leaders are faced with – as well as many more experienced leaders! Strategic thinking and decision important part of what we all need to do in order to maximise the impact that we have.

We need to move from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out)!

JOMO is a phrase that I thought that I came up with, but have since seen Greg McKeown use – like in this podcast.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been in Sydney for the Invictus Games. A great event and wonderful way to promote and support veterans. It did cause me to reflect on earlier this year when Prince Harry was getting married to Meghan Markle.

Many of you may have been very excited about this for any number of reasons. Some of you may have been a bit more like Emma Thompson who said that she had “not got a thought in her head about it”. I find myself in the Emma Thompson camp. I wish these two people (that I have never met and am unlikely to) all the best. Beyond that, I spend very little time thinking about them.

My wife was pretty excited about the wedding and ended up making a bit of an event of it, which is great. I am sure that she had a great time. I had zero interest. At one point, my wife suggested that I might get a bit of FOMO when I hear about how good a time she has. I responded that I was already experiencing JOMO. The idea of not watching the wedding and doing something more productive with my time filled me with joy!

If I was with my wife watching the wedding it’s likely that both of us would have a worse time. I don’t want to watch it and she doesn’t want to watch it with me. We actually both benefit from me missing out!

What has this got to do with strategic thinking? A fair bit, actually.

In our work, we often get caught in work that we could be doing instead of making our best contribution. Quite often, it happens because one or more parties feel the need to include everyone in the process – even when it’s not in both parties’ interests. We end up attending meetings, being copied in on emails, contributing to projects that simply aren’t the best value that we can add. FOMO drives us towards compliance and JOMO drives us towards courage.

FOMO drives us to want to be included where it’s not our best interest. JOMO is the antidote.

If you don’t have anything better to do, it’s hard to say no to a meeting that is irrelevant to you or a project that is not the best use of your time. If you have work that you love and are great at, you know that by declining other opportunities you are creating the space to do it. That’s reason to celebrate.

Questions for you are:

  1. What one thing this week would bring you joy to miss out on?
  2. How can you offer others the joy of missing out?

Go well,

K.

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