Indiscriminate Urgency

Have you ever worked with someone who has a constant sense of urgency? Everything is a rush and you frantically try to keep up.

Over time this can become exhausting! Not only are you perpetually in the fast lane, you also need to be telepathic to figure out the real priorities.

With this as a backdrop, have elements of this indiscriminate urgency crept into your leadership style? If so, it’s time to take a step back to assess how this is working for you, and especially for the people who work for and with you.

One of the ugly characteristics of this tendency is what I call “hurry up and wait”. You set an urgent deadline which your team kills themselves to meet.

While everyone is recovering and awaiting your next directive, you go radio silent. Days (or weeks) later, you return to the project and set another impossible deadline.

Long term, this isn’t sustainable. Your employees become exhausted. They are anxious because they don’t know when the other shoe is going to drop. They need to be able to pace themselves without sprinting all the time.

Certainly, there are times when you have initiatives with rush deadlines. That’s normal.

But when you create a sense of urgency about everything, it will eventually backfire.

+ It is the sign of a leader who doesn’t know how to prioritize.

+ It reflects insensitivity towards those who work for you.

+ It signals disquietude to fellow leaders.

See what you can do to avoid the syndrome of indiscriminate urgency. You may not be guilty of doing this, but pay attention to see if any of your managers are.

And if that’s the case, it’s time for a little coaching.

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