I had waited 45 minutes before the people I was supposed to be meeting with came around the corner and thanked me for being there. They were noticeably frazzled.
“Okay, what are we here to discuss?” the woman began.
“Well, you called this meeting with me,” I began slowly.
“We called this meeting?” she responded. In fact, she had called this meeting.
It was a scene out of a Saturday Night Live sketch. I retraced our entire previous conversation and asked questions about what they were trying to accomplish.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “We’re just so busy right now that I don’t even know where to begin.”
That’s exactly what the workshops were supposed to be about.
Over the past years of consulting with teams and organizations, I’m more convinced than ever of the importance of these simple questions: Where are we? Where are we going? Why? Who’s doing what next?
Organizations get racing so quickly on WHAT they are trying to accomplish that they forget to step back, slow down, and remember WHY and HOW they plan to get there as a team.
Forbes Magazine and The Center for Creative Leadership released an article called “Slow Down to Speed Up.” It said this: “Slow down now and you will move faster, further and with greater purpose later.”
Are you filling your days with tasks that aren’t your highest priorities? Are you rushing around trying to cross off items on your task list that aren’t critical to what you’re trying to accomplish?
The most effective leaders, teams, organizations, and families are the ones who are:
- Clear on the purpose of their efforts and what they are trying to create.
- Disciplined enough to give their attention to the highest priorities first.
- Relentless in identifying the actions needed next to bring their mission to life.
Where in your life are you feeling busy and where are you feeling effective? Slow down to speed up.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
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