Slow and steady will never meet the rigorous demands of the urgent! Fast and furious wins the race.
My regional director has been bearing down on me lately, so I quickly passed on that pressure to all of my underlings. I then made it my number one priority to watch them closely to help them make progress on their individual tasks. One of my strategies is to ask for a status update every single time I see them. Alice, one of my employees, is working on a particularly difficult task. She is young and unfamiliar with best practices and needs a good mentor, so I have chosen her to be my “mentee.” Now I prod her endlessly, which helps her focus on tying up all of the loose ends so our product will work as promised. Though I have to go out of my way to mentor her, I am more than happy to assist.
Alice, We Have a Problem
A few days ago, I saw Alice in the hallway. “How is your progress?” I asked abruptly, being conscious of our time by avoiding all small talk.
“Slow and steady,” she replied in a quiet, reserved voice.
Her response gave away how little she understands about the urgency of the situation. She would not respond that way if she fully realized the gravity of the situation.
My Analysis of the Situation
- The all-important project must be completely finished very soon.
- We all need to rush around like Nigel to show our busyness and productivity.
- Alice will never win at life with her “slow and steady” perspective.
In a terse, impatient voice, I said, “When is it going to be fast and furious?”
I wondered about Alice before, but now I seriously doubt her commitment to winning at our company after an immature answer like that. Fast reactions and furious activity I know she is young and all, but really — what are they teaching kids these days?!
W. Albert Jameson, IV
Consistent incremental progress eventually triumphs over fast and furious activity for the sake of looking busy. In the children’s fable, the tortoise uses his strength of persistence to win the race against the fast and eager hare, who is drunk from short term success.Be patient and persistent to win the race of endurance in business. Slow and steady wins the race.
Andrew’s Note: The circumstance and dialog are based on an actual event. *sigh*