I’ve been thinking.

As a leader, you probably move fast. You’re a multi-tasker who is always looking for new ways to be strong and effective, and to help your organization become more efficient and impactful.

In that context, I’ve noticed that in today’s fast paced environment, there can be tendency to value speed and efficiency at the expense of obtaining a deeper understanding of the approach, the process, and the intentions behind the decisions we make.

Speed, efficiency and a “results driven” culture definitely have their place in an organization and in our life, but as mindful leaders I believe we must challenge ourselves to balance the need to “get it done” with a commitment to understanding the “why” behind it all.

We need to remember to manage and balance the very real deadlines and the strong pull of wanting a “quick fix”, with being in the moment, slowing down, and responding instead of reacting.

Recently, I was attending a conference where several speakers were presenting a variety of topics. The speakers were all doing a great job of explaining the nuances of solving some very complex problems, and were offering some excellent suggestions about how we could adapt and apply the concepts from their vast experience, to our own lives.

However, in many of the sessions, there seemed to be a sense of frustration as the attendees wanted the speaker to “cut to the chase” and share “templates” that they could apply to their situation. It almost seemed that the listeners really weren’t (listening).

Perhaps they were moving too fast, aware of the emails piling up while they took time to attend the conference, or the deadlines they were facing. It made me wonder if they were giving themselves an opportunity to really BE in the moment and think about what was being shared.

This is completely understandable, as I encounter this in my work too. I’ve certainly developed tools, templates and step-by-step methodology and processes – that I share with clients when we’re working together. I’ve also had my share of days when I, myself, needed to take my own coaching advice and SLOW DOWN.

So, while I understand the desire for a quick, one-size-fits all solution, I would argue that what everyone REALLY wants is to achieve the RESULTS that the speakers were describing, or that I describe to my clients.

When we have experience and knowledge behind us that we want to share – that has come from trial and error, and failures and successes – templates and a step-by-step process can be excellent tools to help others with challenges they are experiencing.

But on their own, these “blueprints” or “templates” are likely to not create the possibility for for the transformational RESULTS that are needed, without the larger context.

As leaders, it’s vital to take the time to not only understand the “tool” we need to use, but also the concepts, the approach, the intention, the dynamics, the causes and conditions – that together will create a solution for our particular situation.

So today, I invite you to slow down, listen, and give yourself some space to think.

It’s a fast paced world, but it’s our responsibility as thought leaders.

To your success!

Kathryn