Leadership is a term you read in business magazines across all industries. As the workplace rapidly undergoes its evolution, skilled leaders face numerous challenges.
The concept of leadership from a power of slow perspective is particularly intriguing because we normally don't think of leaders as people who embrace slow, tactical solutions. At the forefront of any organization, leaders, especially C-suite ones, are tasked with high visibility. Oftentimes, they'll go for the impressive outward move to show investors they are 'doing something'. But is a fast pace always the sign of good leadership?
I can recommend two books that point to the importance of taking things slowly when times call for it rather than falling prey to the sirens of speed.
Aptly entitled Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution, this Harvard Business Press book written by Jocelyn Davis, Henry Frechette, Jr. and Edwin Boswell, underscores the fact that slow is faster. They claim, among other things, that when top athletes strive to relax, they actually increase their speed. They point toward new metrics for speed. Smart organizations look to increase the time to value (meaning how long it takes to train the new employee to be 'up to speed' on the tasks of the job), but also consider the value over time (if I train the personally properly and invest time in him or her upfront, I will benefit from his or her value over time). More efficient companies (such as India's Tata Sky satellite TV company) focus on clarity of vision, unity (employees stand behind the vision with a spirit of teamwork) and agility (adaptability in the changing business environment). Perhaps most importantly is the work climate in which people are employed. You can tell when you walk into a place where the morale is high. As a customer, you can feel it in every pore of your being. Great leadership trickles down to every aspect of the organization. Speed for speed's sake is never desirable (except, perhaps, on the race track!).