How to Thrive in Today’s Culture of Haste

One of the great frustrations in organizations are leaders whoose enthusiasm to make a project happen overrides their patience. Great things take time, and it doesn’t help to push your team to the point of damaging the outcome. In government, this administration has trouble with haste. Remember Nancy Pelosi who lectured Congress to pass Obamacare, and THEN we’ll see what’s in the bill. Now, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius is taking heat for the Obamacare website that was rushed to completion before it could be tested and proven.

When writing my book “Jolt: Get The Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing,” I realized that today, we live in a culture of haste. Every new web browser update has to be faster, new laptops must have ever faster processors, and delivery dates are moved up – even if the software or product needs multiple fixes after it’s released.

I’m a big fan of innovation and progress, but I wonder if that sense of haste has invaded our personal relationships. I see it taking it toll on our friendships, spiritual life, and fulfillment. (When was the last time you had lunch with a friend that wasn’t distracted by your mobile device?) We think every email, text, or phone message has to be returned now.

In government, business, and nonprofit work, speed is good, but great execution is better. Slow down, focus on quality, not speed. Give your team the time to make it work, and work right. Make sure your deadlines are realistic.

Don’t undermine your vision because you don’t have the patience for excellence.

When was the last time your team was pushed to the point your project failed?

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Phil Cooke

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