Slow Down to Speed Up: A Lesson in Patience

How often do you just keep rushing ahead to get work done? Your to-do list is as long as your arm and you, a thruster by nature, just want to make it happen. When do you consider the value of what you are delivering and the time it takes to deliver it? Are your efforts aligned with the organisation’s strategy? So often we do, rather than think.

So here’s my tip: slow down to speed up. Take a look at your business from another vantage point. Rise up and look down on your business to see it more clearly. Where are the opportunity gaps? What actions and behaviours need to be delivered in order to achieve the desired outcome? What is your role to play in making this happen? So often we forget to work on the business because we are so busy working in it. We sit in the busy instead of in the strategy. We focus on the outcome instead of on actions. We become reactive instead of proactive, fighting fires instead of preventing them from being lit.

One bad month does not make a bad business. Consistent bad months however suggests that actions and behaviours are not being suitably managed to deliver the desired outcome. If you don’t stop and take a look, review what has happened and then preview what needs to happen in the future, your outcome will not change. Remove blame and create ownership and accountability. Teach your team to think rather than just telling them what to do. Ensure they take time to plan their actions so they are clear about the direction they need to head and what actions they will take to deliver the desired result.

Patience is key for the thruster. By slowing down you gain clarity. You conserve energy. You determine what is necessary. You create the space to allow it to all be delivered. In slowing down, you regain your personal power. You will actually gain speed and momentum.

Remember, it was the tortoise that won the race, not the hare! Slow down to speed up.

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