Leaders are responsible not only for the direction of their organisation or team but when they arrive at different milestones. Change and innovation happen at the pace leaders determine. Every leader is a custodian of her enterprise’s pace. The pace of leaders and enterprise is connected. The one determines (or should) determine the other. By default, leadership is about leading, giving direction and pace. How quicly a team or organisation gets somewhere is up to the leader.
This means leaders must be clear on values. It means teams must be in the know on what things trump others when it comes to priorities
At different times, certain things will need to be expedited.
The time leaders take to make decisions is another ‘pace determinant’. The longer the ‘stall period’ the slower the team.
The ‘stall period’ is simply the gap or time it takes for a leader to make a decision from the time he becomes aware he or she needs to make it, makes the decision and communicates it with the team(s).
Not all decisions are the same. Also, not all decisions are equal.
Some decisions call for careful thought or consideration. And other decisions not. I must point out that careful thought and consideration is not necessarily synonymous with slow or taking long to make decisions.
Also it doesn’t mean a shorter stall period either.
Leadership without accountability isn’t quite leadership. It is a recipe for failure and disaster. Leaders are responsible for ensuring that teams are on course. This includes clear review and feedback systems.
Checking in with teams will inherently include a ‘pace check’. Check-ins will ask, “are we on track? Will we arrive where we envisaged when we set these goals? At this pace where will we be at a particular time?”
One of the greatest ‘pace determinants’ must be built into strategy and goal setting. This is not rocket science and is something that had always been said so much it’s kind of cliché.
Building pace into goal-setting is important. I’m wary of including it here but, as much as I’m tired of hearing and reiterating this, it is important:
Remember to make pace setting a part of your planning. One of the reasons pace is not taken seriously is that it is not included or given space in the planning process, right from the inception of ideas, projects or initiatives.
The pace of the leader and enterprise are connected.
The former must always make that the organisation or team moves at a pace that doesn’t compromise mission. Too slow, will make organisations irrelevant. Too fast will exhaust and cripple. Every leader must determine the pace in both senses. This means he is intentional; speed is not an afterthought but designed.
The pace of the leader and enterprise…