By Kelly Cardenas, a Bestselling Author and Elite Keynote speaker. His podcast is ranked in the top 1% Globally.
Slow down to speed up. In a world where we are inundated with information at an ever-increasing rate, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Our mind starts to race, our adrenaline kicks in and we start grasping for anything that will help us not fall behind, miss the boat or seize a golden opportunity.
This is what my Pops used to refer to as “chasing rabbits.” Imagine yourself in the middle of a field with hundreds of rabbits, darting after one only to realize that your agility and quickness pale in comparison to these loveable creatures. After the first one gets away, you turn your sights to another and then, in frustration, you run aimlessly as they all scatter.
Does this feel familiar in your pursuit of advertising, marketing, R&D, HR, branding, profit margins, supply chains, etc.? If so, take a breath and realize that this proves the point that you are human. This concept of slowing down to speed up will help to focus your efforts and engage the most powerful aspect of your business: your mind.
In order to tap into this unlimited resource in yourself and those around you, we must create a space for this magic to take place. This is where slowing down is so vital. Most people associate slowing down with a less productive result, and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Slowing down can create an unmatched speed to market because it can produce diligence, which is “right work” as opposed to “busy work.”
Here are six principles that can curb your desire to chase rabbits in business:
In business, 99% of challenges can be solved by examining the culture. Once evaluated, there is probably one glaringly obvious issue that we fail at the most and work on the least: communication.
Constructing a culture is as simple as understanding the reason why you exist and then communicating it to the organization in a language that they understand. This can help create an ownership mentality and develop the story of your brand. We must be intentional when creating our culture or we may spend our time trying to manage the one that will inevitably grow on its own.
Too much of any one thing can kill the desire for it! The vibe must be alive in your culture; just as one song at a concert for an hour won’t do, neither will one vibe. Your vibe must be chosen daily and preferably by the people in the organization.
This is not a free-for-all, but an intention that should be in line with the culture. Some days it will be “fun,” others it will be “efficient” or “kind.” The important part is that it is created by the team because this will help ensure a feeling of ownership. Remember, it’s not about what you say but how you make people feel when you say it. Magic happens when you specifically choose and construct the vibe that you desire.
3. Process And Procedure
Rules without relationships could cause rebellion. People want to feel respected and valued, and this can be fostered when they are given permission to try things.
This permission will come when they realize that all of the processes and procedures are nothing more than a list of your screw-ups! When people are given the permission to screw up as long as they write it down so it can be a road map for future generations, they can feel the freedom that eludes so many.
A goal fulfilled that is not celebrated has about the same value as one not set. Celebrate productivity specifically, publically and often. People are inspired by stories and when you can give concrete tales of success, it can breed aspiration for more of the same.
If it works, break it down and systemize it; if it sucks, don’t use it anymore. Innovation is at the core of any successful, sustainable and thriving organization. Innovation isn’t complicated; it will happen naturally when people understand that processes and procedures are nothing more than a historical list of screw-ups.
Giving the freedom and space to create is the greatest gift that we can give our people, and you will be surprised by the innovation that follows.
6. Quick Adaptability
Reaction time determines reward. This is not to say that we abandon the concept of slowing down to speed up, although when your culture, vibe, process and procedure, productivity and innovation are in line and flowing, quick adaptability often follows. All of the greatest ideas in the world are just that—ideas—when they are not applied to the current circumstances.
When we slow down and focus on what really matters, it is amazing how our velocity can increase. Imagine yourself now back in that same field surrounded by rabbits. Your heart rate is low, you are free from the pressure of trying to capture them, your peace is at an all-time high and joy is radiating from every part of your being. Calmly, you reach into the bag by your side and take out a few pieces of lettuce and some carrots and lay them gently in your palm. It takes a second until there is engagement, but once it begins, you are overwhelmed. You have something they want and need, which shifts the paradigm and eliminates the necessity to keep chasing rabbits.