Slowing Down

Ever heard of the saying “speed kills?” It is kind of a given that doing most anything too fast is not a good idea.

What isn’t mentioned often enough however is that going too slow can be just as bad.

I wanted to point that out because I’ve seen some slowing down of late. Many leaders and organizations entered into the current crisis doing a lot of the right things at just the right speed.

They made the proper efforts to keep their people engaged. They communicated appropriate information and didn’t over or under communicate.

I was also impressed with many of the individual efforts I’ve seen. From salespeople reaching out to try and help customers to moms and dads working together to school their kids at home. I was especially impressed with the effort I saw and heard about regarding people making sure to stay in touch with family and friends while pretty much stuck at home.

There have been many good things that have come about as a result of the situation we all find ourselves in. I hope at least some of those things outlast the current situation.

But I kinda feel like many of those efforts are already slowing down. Collectively we are taking our feet off the gas and beginning to drift.

Don’t drift!

Stay focused on how you began dealing with this situation. The things that worked well will work even better when this mess is over and life begins returning to something that feels normal.

Think of it this way… there is a reason the people say “speed up” and a reason they say “slow down.”

Slow apparently has do to with going down. I don’t want to go in that direction. I don’t want my success to go in that direction. I don’t want people thinking my effort, the quality of my work or the amount I care is going in that direction either. I also don’t think you want that.

Intentionally slowing down with a purpose in mind can be good. Allowing slowing down to unintentionally creep into your day is not so good.

Discipline and focus serve you well in good times and bad. Maintain the focus and discipline you had at the beginning of our unusual times. That will give you the opportunity to exit the unusual times better, faster, stronger and more prepared to succeed than when this whole thing started.

Lots of people start strong. The most successful people finish strong as well. Which one are you?

Don’t Slow Down

The New Year will soon be upon us. For some people 2015 can’t end soon enough, nothing seemed to go as planned and they are hoping for a fresh start in 2016.

Others wish this year would never end; they are basking in the glow of a very successful year and they are wishing it could last forever. Whichever group you find yourself in I have a message for you…. don’t slow down. Don’t slow jam your way to the end of the year. 

This is not the time of the year to take your foot off the gas. No matter what kind of year you’ve had so far remember, it’s only “so far.” You have another whole month to build yourself a foundation for a successful New Year. 

If you’ve had a great 2015 and decide to rest the remainder of the year it likely will take you a good while to get back up to speed as the New Year begins. Don’t waste the powerful momentum you’ve built for yourself by finishing your successful year on auto-pilot. Whatever you did to succeed in 2015 continue to execute in the same way throughout the month of December. While the prospect of some well deserved extra rest is enticing you’ll be glad you didn’t take the bait. You’ll begin the year with the kind of momentum that builds true success, the repeatable kind of success.

If 2015 wasn’t exactly the year you had in mind 11 months ago then stop only long enough to determine what went wrong. Take a long look at your plan…by the way if you don’t have a 2015 plan to look at I’d HIGHLY recommend you invest some time in December making sure that you have a realistic, executable plan for 2016 before January rolls around.

Assuming you had a plan examine it closely to see where it went off track. Did you remember to include a backup plan for when the inevitable unexpected and uncontrollable circumstances made your original plan unworkable? Stuff happens and you should plan on it happening to you. 

If 2015 didn’t go according to your plan did you remember to ask for help? Successful people are not afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. They identify well in advance the source of their help just in case it’s needed. Literally list the names of the people you’ll ask for help with your plan should it be required. 

One purpose of a good plan is to eliminate the “wonder” from your year. Successful people don’t “wonder” what they should do, who they should ask or where they should look for help. They “know” because they have prepared for the unexpected. If you found yourself hesitating when things went off course in 2015 it’s possibly because you were missing that key element of your plan. 

Don’t hope for a better 2016, plan on it! 

Successful people treat December as the last month of the year. The most successful people treat December as the first month of the New Year. Which would you like to be? 

Make the choice to finish 2015 strong and it may be the last great choice you make in 2015 …. or it just might be your first great choice for the New Year ahead.