Ever get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent?
I was reading a summary on The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, and he made a statement that caught my eye…”You have to slow down in order to go fast.”
This is a counterintuitive statement that speaks volumes to our culture. We live in a culture of adrenaline junkies. The more you have going on the more productive and successful you must be. If you work 12 hour days you are held up as a beacon of wisdom and sanity. You are hooked on the daily rush of activity and emergency activities.
According to Lencioni, the solution lies in an old race-car-drivers’ axiom:
…you have to slow down in order to go fast.
In relationship, it seems that no matter the context, we are constantly exposed to ideas, trends and the latest and greatest of other people, couples, families, or companies around you that do it better. Instead of simply grasping at the next straw and running with a new idea…gather all the intel and consider things in new and different ways and slow it down just enough to really think to determine the problem, arrive at a conclusion, and execute in a strategic direction.
Solution: 5 Simple Ways to slow down in order to go fast.
1. Know the Right Questions to Ask.
Evaluate the course that you will be racing on today. What are the weather conditions, the track length, and the other racers. What tires are the other racers choosing? How has the weather conditions effected the track for the day? Just as a race-car-driver evaluates the conditions, in relationship, evaluate the problem(s) that exists.
2. Know the Right Plan to execute.
Before you can accelerate around the track, the relationship or the workplace, evaluate the conditions and THEN lay out a clear, concise objective you and your team is working towards. What exactly are you trying to accomplish and what problem are you solving? Don’t follow the mantra, “Ready, Fire, AIM!” Instead, narrow down and categorize the problems that you have to form an executable plan.
3. Know the Right Moment to Execute the Plan.
Once you have asked the right questions and created a game plan its time to stop simply dreaming and time to put the plan into action. Drivers don’t sit at the line once the race has started. Stop lingering and thinking and rethinking what you need to do. Everyone can dream, but fewer people put the dreams into action. If the race has started its time to get the car moving.
4. Know the Right Time to reevaluate the Plan.
Is it time to regroup and reassess? Maybe. We have pit crews to fix tires, repair damaged parts, and return you to the race. As you evaluate your progress, determine when the right time to reevaluate is before a blow out happens. Before tempers fly and chaos ensues, bring your team or family or friend back together and reflect on the progress that you have made. When we are in it, we don’t always see the progress that is made and the wear and tear it creates. Make space to breath and reevaluate.
5. Know when the race is finished to Plan for the Next.
The race doesn’t go on forever. THERE IS AN END. Know when the 200th lap is over and your goal has been achieved. Measure your progress. How fast was each lap. How long did it take to finish this race and measure it against other races, but most important…..plan for the next. There will be others. Don’t beat yourself up over the results if they weren’t as good as you hoped. Plan for the next.
Call to action: During the team meeting you lead, create time in your agenda to discuss what the latest change means to your team and your consumers and determine where in the race are you and act accordingly.
Question: Do you get caught in the tyranny of the urgent? How have you handled it?