Globalstar Consulting has a philosophy that bleeds over into how we operate as a company, and that is we operate with a sense of urgency, but we don’t get in a hurry. We have all seen those who “knee jerk” in business situations, only to make matters measurably worse. It’s like they “leap before they look.” There’s a reason why there are so many memorable quotes having to do with reacting too quickly. This is because moving too quickly normally ends up in a less than desirable situation. That said, we also realize that “time kills deals.” So, how do you most effectively balance operating urgently while remaining steadfast in your approach? First off, make sure you are extremely organized and that every decision you make is purposeful. These disciplines will provide the foundation required to weather virtually all situations that arise. You know where you are headed and why, so depending on the situation, you can either speed things up or down. Sometimes urgency has an antithetical more counterintuitive side where you urgently slow things down instead of speeding things up.
Many big companies come from humbled beginnings in which early adopters wore multiple hats and things operated nimbly. Over time, this nimbleness and ability to act quickly slows down. It’s like turning the Titanic versus a speed boat. That’s not to say, you cannot retain a small company culture as your company grows larger, but from what I have seen, it is the exception. For one thing, larger companies tend to attract employees who come from other large companies where assimilation is part of the deal. It’s like the frog boiling experience, where people eventually succumb to corporate bureaucracy and internal politics. You can also have the opposite, where people seem to find a refuge of mediocrity because the company has lost its passion so to speak. Like most business philosophies if they are to be adopted and maintained, they must start at the top. You show me a leader who has passion and a sense of urgency, and I will show you a like-minded culture.
Jack Welch, the ex-great CEO of GE once said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” There have been countless companies that couldn’t get out of their own bureaucratic way, to where they no longer exist. Examples being, Blockbuster Video, Circuit City, Sears, and Kmart. Of course, one could argue that outside forces greatly influenced their eventual demise, but who’s to say they couldn’t have reinvented themselves with the right leadership who embodied a sense of urgency, among other disciplines. When a company has a sense of urgency, there is a swagger or attitude that permeates the culture, and everyone feels it within the company and without. It’s a collectively desirous energy. The late great motivational speaker, Jim Rohn sums things perfectly with this quote, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Simply put, if you don’t have a sense of urgency, people become dispassionate and lose their commitment to attaining any sort of greatness. Avoid becoming one of the many business casualties by leading with passion, setting high expectations, and never losing your sense of urgency.