The leadership secret you must cultivate

Want to be a more effective leader? Want to be more successful?

Thought so!

So I’ve got to let you in on this:

Being smart is over-rated. So is being perfect.

Because there’s something much better than being smart or getting things perfectly right.

It’s speed.

No, not as in the movie Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Not zooming through the countryside in a candy-red convertible next to the dream hotsie of your choice. (Although that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?) And not a nasty pill, either.

I’m referring to speed as in getting things done quickly.

The get-it-done kind of speed beats being smart. It beats being perfect. Every single time.

Speed is a key ingredient of leadership.

Speedy decision-making is a key ingredient of leadership.

That’s according to James E. Lukaszewski, an expert in managing and counteracting tough, touchy, sensitive corporate communications issues. I’ve admired Jim’s work for years.

Plus, Jim reminds me of the fine folks I worked with when I got my start in PR in New York City. And that is a huge compliment to Jim!

Cultivate speed

Here’s what Jim Lukaszewski advises: Do it now, ask it now, fix it now, challenge it now and change it now.

But what about mistakes? Won’t mistakes get made by moving that fast?

“There is simply no evidence that speeding up decision-making causes any more errors than decisions that are delayed by timidity, hesitation, or the search for the perfect solution,” Jim Lukaszewski says.

In other words:

  1. Mistakes are inevitable (even if you are super-smart or are striving to be perfect).
  2. Deferring mistakes only delays success.

So get in the game. Make your mistakes early, then fix them and move on to success and more effective leadership.

P.S. You can find Jim’s books on Amazon. His latest is Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Needs to Know about Reputation Risk and Crisis Management.

Your turn

Please leave a comment below:

What’s your top tip for breaking through inertia, timidity or perfectionism?

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9 Responses to The leadership secret you must cultivate

  1. I agree. For the longest time I procrastinated because I wanted things to be perfect. The real reason was because I was afraid of not being good enough. Sometimes you just have to go for it and know that you learn as you go. You might make a mistake, but you learn and get better. That’s just how it’s done.

  2. Great tip! Guess I’ve been doing this without realizing, and I can say, it makes a big difference.

  3. shannon says:

    This is great! I bet the decisions I’ve laboured about wouldn’t have been made any differently had I just forced myself to PICK SOMETHING.

    Good food for thought!

  4. What I’ve learned over the years is that if you move quickly you will make mistakes, yes, but all urgent responses are mistake prone anyway. My rationale is that by acting quickly we make next weeks mistakes this week, therefore next week will be a better week.

    In crisis recovery as in life we all spend some time today fixing yesterday’s mistakes. Goes with the territory. The real insight it sot stop expecting and forecasting a perfect day and deal in the reality of the situation.

  5. Jay J. Price says:

    Sadly, newsrooms mired in traditions of the 20th Century are focused on avoiding being “scooped” and, in so doing, are no longer taking the time to fact-check properly. Ignoring the reality that they can’t have it both ways – and hence the need for a definitive distinction between their role and the role of social media.

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