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Slow Down

Published December 5, 2014

Slow Down Sign

We move fast in today’s world. We make decisions quickly, manage from our gut, and more often than not, we are right in the final analysis. But did we get there the right way?

I coach my team that how we get a result is as important as getting it, so there needs to be intentional and deliberate thought in how we make our decisions. The long term impact of the decisions we make can be felt for weeks, months, and sometimes years after the fact. Sometimes we have to go slow to go fast.
The same applies to our lives professionally. If we take the time to slow it down and think about the long term impact of our decisions, we’ll make better choices because we are being thoughtful and strategic. It doesn’t mean that every decision we make will work out for us, but we will certainly have the right platform to achieve the highest possible rate of success.
We live in a fast paced world and decisions have to be made quickly, and that’s not going to change. But we can change the way we approach decision making to improve the results we get by being more intentional.
Here are a few things that have helped me slow down my decision making and improve my results:

  1. Evaluate the consequences of the decisions we make. What does it look like immediately, in the short term, and long term? 3 years ago, best-selling author Suzy Welch was speaking at a Leadercast event in Atlanta and she gave a talk on 10-10-10. Here’s how it works. Every time she found herself in a situation where there appeared to be no solution that would make everyone happy, she asked herself three questions:
    What are the consequences of the decision in 10 minutes? In 10 months? And in 10 years?
    That’s pretty powerful. When I think about this concept it applies to both our personal and professional lives. Looking at the consequences of our decisions through the lens of 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years can save all of us a lot of heartache, frustration, and disappointment.
  2. Ask great questions. I talk about this a lot but it becomes more true every day. When faced with a challenge every leader wants to solve it. Now. But many times what we should do as leaders is ask some great questions to gain clarity around the issue at hand. Doing so not only gives you the right information but it buys you time to properly assess the situation before making a decision.
  3. Get the right people involved. Not every decision is a consensus, but every decision is an opportunity to educate someone on your team. Bringing people in under the tent allows you as a leader to coach someone, and develop them to be a stronger leader themselves. They learn that being inclusive as a leader is the best way to get things done in a way that gets the best result and how to get the result in the right way.

If we all slow down as leaders and ask the right questions, involve the right people, and think about the long term impact of our decisions we will find that the results we achieve will improve and we will be proud of the way we achieved them.