React Like a Professional

There’s always trouble headed your way. You have to hustle and move and adjust constantly to survive. There’s no time to sit and plan, and you might as well give up on trying to be smooth. React like the best of them!

Let’s face it — the potholes aren’t going to dodge themselves! When a pothole does appear, just change courses and come up with a new plan altogether.

As a leader, you must react constantly. When I do have a spare moment, I spend it preparing myself for the next thing that requires my reaction. It’s kinda fun, like staring at a baseball pitching machine, ready to swing wildly in the direction of the ball the moment it appears.

You cannot know what to do until things happen to you first. Only then can you can react like a pro.

As the leader, you sometimes have to wait patiently for storms, you are tossed around by the waves of circumstance. Once a storm has officially hit, panically flail so you can prevail.

There is nothing like years of practice reacting to yield what I call “The Neurotic Advantage.” I’m referring to that twitchy feeling you get in the face of intimidating obstacles. Those who are calm are conversely at a disadvantage because of their inability to shift strategies on a dime due to their desire to plan a proper course of action. There’s no time for that!

My vision for the company is to maintain our neurotic advantage by reacting to every minor blip on the radar before everyone else takes their sweet time deriving an appropriate response. I want us to stay light on our feet and fast on our trigger fingers. Unfortunately , that occasionally implies collateral damage — and friendly fire will occur.

And when that happens, I will react accordingly.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Planning to react isn’t planning at all. Emotions make poor decisions in the heat of the moment. Prepare for distractions, be smooth instead of fast or perfect, and carry on toward your goal. Be wise and calm so you never need to react neurotically.

How do you prepare yourself to respond (and not react) to obstacles?