2016 has, in many ways, been a challenging year. It is the year of Brexit. The year of a highly divisive US presidential election. The year of profound unrest and violence across the globe. The year of corporate scandal and scrutiny across an array of industries, from banking to automotive to technology to health care.
This has been a year in which we’ve moved faster than ever before. But speed does not always lead to progress. In fact, unchecked speed, in the form of rushing to results, failing to ensure quality from end to end, pushing employees to make a choice between caring for customers and earning a decent living, cutting corners where corners must not be cut… well, that kind of speed is a recipe for bad decision-making and serious repercussions.
So maybe it’s time to slow things down. To think before acting. To assess opportunities and threats, and to ensure a truly strategic approach to the future. To identify strengths to be leveraged and gaps to be filled. To set a sound course and round up the support and resources needed to get to the endline without undue or insurmountable pushback.
In the coming months, you’ll hear more from me about slowing down to speed up as I work on my book of the same name: Slow Down to Speed Up: How to Make the Best Decisions and Get the Right Things Done. For now, you can do three things right away to ensure fast (but not haphazardly fast) results in 2017.
- Set aside time each day, week, month, quarter and year. Protect this time and don’t let anyone lay claim to it. This is your strategic reflection time. It should treated as a top priority.
- Figure out which resources you will need for success in Q1, Q2 and throughout 2017. Don’t wait to secure them. Line them up today to accelerate progress tomorrow.
- Decompress and disconnect during the holiday season. If you’ve planned a week out of the office, take the week. Don’t let yourself get pulled into matters that can wait or be handled by someone else. This is indispensable time. Use it to you clear your mind, take a healthy step away, gain perspective, and reenergize so you can hit it out of the park when you return from the holiday break.
Trust me, this kind of strategic pause is neither self-indulgent nor irresponsible. It is, to the contrary, indispensable for exceptional leadership, organizational success, and rapid progress along your professional path.
To your success.