It’s all about speed
(speed) n. 1. Mathematics and Physics. Distance traveled divided by time of travel. 2. Business and life. Invest the ratio of results to time invested.
Speed is distance (results) divided by time, period. Some leaders confuse it with the foolish golden formula: action divided by time. It’s an expensive and destructive illusion that causes one of two fatal results: either trying to avoid speed completely by delaying action and becoming stagnant to redo the culture in a pattern of unbridled acceleration. So fast is either the big enemy, or part of the self-made miracle masking fundamental mistakes in strategy, execution or both.
Review any business periodic or annual report, and you’ll probably read about the virtues of quick action or the wisdom of waiting. It makes for a good copy, but when the anesthetic turns away, it is with a debilitating hangover and the sobering reality that the action is not the problem or the answer. It’s all about speed.
Life can be full of choices, but speed is not one of them. Speed is no longer optional as gravity or evolution. Speed is part of every marriage, every friendship, every game, every physical and emotional interaction on the planet. And no doubt, speed is a critical component of any business model. Eventually all business results are measured against the one constant in the universe. . . time.
Income is measured against time. Service is measured against time. Customer loyalty, production, earnings per share, debt, turnover, cost of selling goods, tax burden, gross profit, profit with profit, your employees, your leadership, or your competition, are inextricably linked to time. But we can’t handle time. If we need to increase speed, we need to work the other side of the comparison of results. More specifically, we need to identify and use the resources that produce results.
Yes I know. Revision is one of those consultants words that we all get so tired of hearing. But it can be the only word that accurately describes exactly what a leader is supposed to force domultiply. In fact, if a leader can be compared with a lifeless object, the lever adjusts the account.
Let us face it, if a leader had the necessary power to reach the goal, he would not complicate things by involving others. And if people had enough power to reach the goal, they wouldn’t need a leader. So. . . It is the leadership responsibility to increase power – leverage current resources to increase the ratio of results to time invested.
Most sources of competitive advantage today technology, talent, capital, intellectual property, even better product – have a very short shelf life. And when the fat gets hot (yesterdays benefit today ‘s norm), organizations can become extremely vulnerable.
Specifically, the grace of three different populations was strongly focused on their own survival and prosperity:
– Acute perceptive employees who ultimately determine the organizations’ discretionary efforts.
– Increasingly sophisticated and unforgiving customers.
– Faster, more competitive and ready-to-run Next-void
Organizations to manage and monitor speed-conscious organizations (some high-speed business practices with their other competitive edge sources, to meet more needs for more people in less time), strengthen their culture, their client base grow and dominate their market.
Leaders who neglect speed – fail to take a systematic, deliberate process to invest the results of time to time. Nude Investors. . .
It may well feel good, look very satisfying and even on short-term growth. But without the proper disciplines in place, it was dangerously over-emphasized and likely to be burned, which is permanently burned by one or more of these three critically important constituencies.
High Velocity Leaders simply don’t take the chance. They understand the critical nature of speed, their role in meeting their market and the key disciplines needed to deliver better results in less time.
Top artists in each arena consistently (relentlessly) commit themselves to the fundamentals. They apply religiously only a handful of basic principles that give them the little extra edge. So it shouldn’t be so surprising that fast-paced companies and the people who lead the theme can display a powerful, simple method of leadership thinking.
Specifically, they print, model and reward five separate disciplines. The 5 disciplines of high-speed:
(repeatable processes and key tools)
(taking and expecting personal accountability for corporate results)
(understanding how and why a person / group thinks, feels, and actions)
(establishment of learning as a responsibility)
24/7/365, working critically
(clearly communicating where to go and why)
Consider the common features shared by all five:
– Everyone is to some extent in each company including yours.
– Everything is unrealized to any extent, including yours.
– Everyone has an immediate and direct impact on performance.
– Everyone is so dangerous in their absence because they are powerful in their presence.
Combined, they (exponentially) strengthen any other form of competitive advantage we may possess.
And above all, all five are under our direct control: simply put, they can and should be managed.
Speed Kills (The Competition)
In virtually every industry, the first one gets to the market ten times (10X!) The profit of its closest competitor. More importantly, after this first leg of the race is over, the compensation law shoots. And with few exceptions, prosperity is directly related to the quantity and quality of service. In other words, organizations most in need of most people with a growing economy of economy dominate their respective markets.
Speed Cures. . .
Speed, as a method of leadership thinking and a cultural mentality, displaces a variety of organizational pathologies. As a powerful antibiotic, speed passes through the corporate bloodstream which neutralizes the debilitating diseases of delay, apathy, confusion, malicious compliance, blame and victim thinking.
The 5 SPEED disciplines literally increase the organizations that transform metabolism from the corporate body of a pot-bellied potato into a sleek, delicate athletics with vitality, armed with momentum and unique to meet the rigors of an increasingly competitive market .
Momentum is a natural by-product of or increases or decreases in direct tospeed. Momentum is the miracle of achievement. This intangible, yet powerful, resource allows athletes to play pain, vendors to endure temporary defeats, forgiveness of friends, and leaders to deliver exceptional results to ordinary people. As compound interest for the keen investor, momentum works while you sleep. It increases original effort and rewards consistent discipline.
Speed is exponential. . .
Even incremental shifts in speed produce quantum results.
At a distance of 100 meters, the running of a high-powered rifle with as little as 1/8 of an inch increases or decreases, stopping a bullet by as much as 4 to 6 inches on the target. Also, as in the business, environmental variables such as the quantity of powder (new technology, high caliber talent) or wind blow (competition, economic recession) need to be introduced to deliver consistent results.
The skilled marketer, who acknowledges it, has a pre-planned plan to adjust his sight device a certain number of pressures to compensate for these variables as they occur. To take the analogy one step further, you will find that most sportsmen will use sandbags as a stabilizing device when they initially look in their arms. And when they hunt wild in the veld, they will try to repeat this advantage, if possible, by using a nearby tree or rock to push their rifle.
Similarly, the five SPEED disciplines stabilize our business practices. They help us to guide and guide valuable momentum to reach our targets accurately within an acceptable margin of error. Speed is not an addition or is a simple multiplier. Because it is truly an exponential variable, one small amount of speed benefit can compensate for otherwise insurmountable differences in other sources. Likewise, a small amount of speed lost can make any other form of competitive advantage useless.
Quick and Deadly Lessons:
In this era of advanced technology, rapid change, accelerated communication and increasingly sophisticated clients, two different types of organizations start: The Quick. . . and the dead!
Like the fierce armed fighters of the Wild West, anyone who is traveling in the fast lane needs to have eye, maintain and drive with a solid solution. The road is narrow and paved with stones (problems and opportunities) of every shape and size. On either side of the white lines, fatal SPEED Traps lie: business practices that destroy momentum, consume resources and significantly reduce results to time invested. Between the trenches of this trade is the highway, fast rivals, fickle clients and walking workers.
There is no other way to success, no fourth quarter to prosperity. Your only decisive source of leverage is the extent to which you choose to preach, practice, and promote the five key disciplines of High-Speed Leadership. . .
High Speed Leadership SPEED CHECK:
Does my people have repeatable, transferable processes for key tasks?
Do I have clearly defined roles and responsibilities?
Have I created a culture that appreciates structure as an implementation tool?
Do I personally use structured processes to achieve goals?
Do I compensate my people for using repeatable, transferable methods?
Do I hold people individually responsible for meeting company goals?
When my people fail, do I hold them responsible for the return of learning to the
Have I created a culture that guarantees personal accountability as a business tool?
I ask consistently What can I do? / What could I have done? in
planning strategies and evaluating results?
Do I compensate people for personal ownership for corporate results?
E mpathy Do
I apply my management approach to achieve a variety of communication styles?
Do I help my people adjust their strategies and tacticsmany different
to influenceframeworks of reference (thoughts, views)?
Have I created a culture that appreciates empathy as a business advantage?
Do I personally invest the time and energy to understand my people before I
Do I need thinking / behavior tailored to meet the unique needs of different types of
employees and clients?
Am I effectively using new information to create new results?
Do I give my employees practical training to help them manage our business strategies
Have I created a culture that values education as a business advantage?
Do I regularly participate in some kind of learning activity?
Do I compensate my people for self-development?
Does my people have a clear sense of where to go and why?
Are my decisions and actions consistent with our stated goals?
Have I created a culture that values direction as an implementation tool?
Do I personally understand our direction?
Do I compensate my employees for using direction as a basis to make critical