I do not know if it has happened to you all, but the last few months have flown by for me. As the days and years pass, the phrase my grandparents used to say comes to mind, “Hey, buddy! How time flies!”.
When I look back, I feel as if in one of those spectacular tornados which you see in some American films, or as if I were tobogganing steeply down in a water park attraction. We had been hearing from many sources that the society in which we lived was moving too quickly, that we all wanted things immediately, the answer in seconds, or even better in microseconds and that the young could not boast of patience. It was the atmosphere of everything right now. When do you need this? Yesterday.
Some health scares led you to make plans to find equilibrium, to learn how to manage stress, to distinguish between what is urgent and what is important.
Some methods and practices which helped to reduce this pace a bit started to become popular. Indeed, it seemed that even within organizations this was being taken seriously. Moreover, we could see much more clearly that this haste put in danger our results.
What is haste?
According to the dictionary, “The need or desire to execute something urgently”.
So much meaning in so few words. Let us analyze this definition a bit.
Necessity or desire: of what or whose? How provoked? Necessity, how much? Desire, directed towards what? Victor Kuppers has repeated several times that “the most important thing to know is that the most important….is the most important”.
Execute (to carry out an action). But how many actions can we carry out at the same time? There are experts who can explain to you how by training better you can multitask, but the efficiency is considerably lessened whatever you do.
Urgency: How many of you have heard of a course where they taught us to distinguish between what is important and what is urgent? How long did the effect of that course last you?
Haste is that destructive emotions that makes us run around breathlessly, with the backpack full of obligations and burdens and with the sensation of not reaching where we want to get to. That same haste that prevents us getting closer to our objectives and which makes us run everywhere without ever crossing the finishing line. We are pressurized to make haste, we pressurize ourselves to make haste and we transmit this to our teams.
Some people turned their lives around after stopping and deciding that haste was no longer going to guide either their present or their future.
Others, on the other hand managed to find the foot break and every now and again use it to stop. The only problem is that they quickly discover that they are soon accelerating again and start stopping and starting as you do when you learn to drive.
For many of us some personal circumstance has stopped our life and this last year there have been weeks that it seemed that we had been moved into space. There without gravity, we would move around, looking at each other in the distance, as if we were living a film without a script, interchanging incredulous looks, with fearful eyes and with helping outstretched hands.
I do not know how long the lack of gravity lasted, but suddenly there started to be some need for haste. In order to buy, so one did not find oneself without the essentials, to fill up the time that at times you ran and at others you stopped, to help, to get your ideas together, to survive, at the end of the day to get out of this situation.
What can we do when we are in this whirlwind?
And if the key is to look for speed instead of getting stuck in haste?
The dictionary tells us that speed is “lightness or promptitude in movement”. What we need is to find the adequate speed to reach our destination. Adjusting that lightness will be the point of inflection so as to reach success. This cruising speed will permit us to adjust our efforts and guide our teams. It is the same speed that allows us to invest less time than is considered normal in order to move.
Although it seems a contradiction, the results of a person, of a team, of an organization accelerate in a spectacular fashion when we focus (without haste) on that which can permit us achieve our objectives.
I am not saying that we do things slower but rather that we adjust the speed and use all the resources we have.
Do you want to accelerate the results of your company? Reduce haste and adjust speed.
By Cristina Sendino, facilitator and partner of Madavi, the YES company