Watch your speed
A couple of months back, I went on a Speed Awareness Course. My husband and I had been arguing while I was driving and, too late, I found I’d passed a speed camera over the limit in a 30mph zone. (I did the course, though we went halves on the cost!)
The main reason participants shared as to why they were speeding was because they were rushing to get somewhere. They were worried about letting someone down or not getting something done and their focus was on getting to The Future as fast as possible.
I completely identify with this : sometimes we can see the journey as a necessary evil to get to our destination.
Often, I work with clients who are feeling the pressure to meet targets or achieve an outcome and they’re frustrated that their team members or colleagues don’t seem to share their sense of urgency. One Director said, “I don’t know how to bring people with me and I’m really worried that we’re not going to deliver.”
When we’re impatient to get somewhere, everything can seem like an obstacle and this Director saw people as barriers to getting things done.
Why? Because he was afraid of not delivering business objectives, afraid of not meeting the deadline, afraid of failing. Fear was fuelling his impatience and, ironically, making it less likely that he’d bring people with him.
His learning was to stop speeding, firstly to give himself the time to step back and get perspective on the situation, and, second, to take the time to help his team understand what the destination was and what the journey looked like. Yet more than that : to give them ownership for the journey, for how they worked together to achieve business goals.
What if slowing down could give you the opportunity to tap into collective genius and open up more ways of reaching your destination?
What if slowing down could help you think more clearly and tap into your own genius?
What if engaging people on the journey might mean travelling beyond your planned destination?
What do you think? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alison Reid helps new Directors focus on what matters, communicate with impact and stay calm and effective under pressure so they can lead themselves and others to great results. She's the author of Unleash Your Leadership : How to Worry Less and Achieve More. Download an extract or buy the book.