Monday, August 20, 2012

Lead with Speed

Too often I am called in to consult with a business leader about issues that are urgent in the client's mind--- at least when I get the call.  After hours of investigation, interviews, analysis, and pondering, findings are presented to the business leader, and recommendations are made.  Then, amazingly, many of these leaders hold off on making key moves that will not only solve the immediate issues, but will help to prevent similar issues in the future.

After years of experiencing this type of behavior, I think that I am now beginning to understand some of the reasons for the procrastination.  First, these business leaders want to know why the problem exists.  They want to understand how such issues flair up out of nowhere and why they never see them coming.  Second, they want to have some type of validation a problem or challenge even exists.  They want to be sure that what they are feeling, seeing, or sensing is indeed real.  Finally, these leaders want a shoulder.  They want someone to listen to their woes and hear them out.  I get that.  I understand all three of these reasons for initiating the call.

When it comes to pulling the trigger on suggested remedies though, it is tough for some leaders to do.  Leading with speed in this area is a wee bit out of their comfort zone.  Like most of the people they lead, they fear change.  They don't want to implement something that is different from the way they've always done things.  They don't see that if they keep doing what they've been doing, they will continue to get the same results.  Sometimes it takes a good scare or a good kick in the seat of the pants to get them to move on making the necessary changes.  I've discovered that once they do, they are glad for it.  They just needed to dive off the rock to know that they won't be killed when they land.  Leading with speed does get easier, but it is getting past the first challenges of change that gets the momentum going. 

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