10 Leadership Principles to consider in slowing down and to be more effective
Have you ever heard the expression, “When I go slow, I go fast”?
I remember the first time I heard this statement. It was said directly to me regarding my crazy working patterns and juggling too many things at once. When this statement was first said to me, I must be honest, I was offended - especially since it came from someone I did not know very well. However, this statement continued to come back and haunt me over time. I could not get it out of my mind. I began to ask myself, “What would make this person say this to me…? Don’t they know how busy I am…? Don’t they know everything I have to accomplish in a day…? Don’t they know…?” The list was endless.
The reason the statement was nagging me, was because it was and still is true.
Each of us has our own areas where we need to slow down. You may need to take better care of yourself, focus on a relationship, or make sure you are not repeating the same error on a report. Regardless of the situation, there are certain ideologies each of us need to focus on in order to create success. If you want fruitful, long term results, you will need to invest more time on the front end. In making this investment of time you will speed things up in the long run. This is the epitome of being proactive rather than reactive. Far too often leaders get caught up in the idea that this moment is so important. Being needed everywhere and by everyone and they run around with their “hair on fire” and lose sight of what is important. More often than not, when leaders do this, the resulting mistakes show up in lost or lowered credibility, broken trust, frustrations, hurt feelings, and even burned bridges.
Below is a list of 10 principles to consider the next time you find yourself moving too fast, especially when working to build strong relationships with a foundation of trust:
- What has worked in the past and how will I repeat those behaviors?
- What has not worked in the past and what will I try differently?
- What is the end result I am looking for? Reverse engineering techniques work well here.
- What is the overall strategy and approach I am going to take?
- What is the message I need to communicate?
- What is the means of communication (in person, email, phone, skype)?
- Who needs to be included?
- How will my message be best received?
- Who am I talking to and how will they best receive this message being conveyed (what is the personality type/s , stress level, engagement level, etc of the recipients)?
- Have I asked powerful questions to bring clarification and or to engage others?
The incident I described in the first paragraph took place many years ago, yet the sting of it stays with me and I am grateful for that. It has made me a better person and a better leader. I use this statement regularly in my coaching sessions. Slowing down is a challenge I will constantly battle; however, it is one I am very aware of and work diligently to keep in the forefront of everything I do both professionally and personally.
Next week’s blog post is from my colleague and guest blogger, Mike Figliuolo, author of Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results. In his post, he focuses on the importance of slowing down to go fast from a different perspective. Mike takes a look at slowing down to properly train as well as develop people in order to effectively delegate. I hope you will check it out next week. In the mean time let us know your story.
What challenges have you faced with slowing down in a world that rewards going fast? What lessons have you learned? Will you share those with us to help us to continue to grow and learn together?
Photo courtesy of iosphere