Due to the impact of COVID-19, in the last several months I have been leading with a heightened sense of urgency. However, this isn’t entirely new for me as I have always lived my life with a level of urgency.
As a teenager, I was antsy to leave home to go to university, and by my second year I was ready to graduate and get my first “real” job. Once I started working, it wasn’t long before I needed something more. This led to the creation of ACHIEVE and CTRI.
For more than a decade, I have been leading our organization through both challenges and opportunities, and I firmly believe that leading with a sense of urgency has been key to our success. And it will be the key to how we work through our current crisis.
Like many organizations, ours is in a critical state. We have had a significant decrease in income, and because we are a training organization in the business of bringing people together – mostly in-person – getting back to our “normal” isn’t happening anytime soon. As a natural result of the pandemic, I am leading with an even greater sense of urgency.
To effectively harness the power of of urgency, we need to become more intentional and less reactive.
The need to lead with urgency during a crisis is not foreign to most people. But the important question to consider is whether we are leading with the right kind of urgency. Unfocused urgency borne out of excessive fear and anxiety tends to lead to bad decisions and increased mistakes. Although this type of urgency does create activity and movement, it often doesn’t lead to productivity or innovation.
Acting and working out of panic and fear is not the same as focused urgency, which creates the desire to do things now – not eventually. To effectively harness its power, we need to become more intentional and less reactive. This gives us heighted focus and clarity to be on the lookout for opportunities and challenges that will not only help us now, but also in the future.
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