The NSW Police have a slogan on the back of some of their patrol cars. It says ‘Choose wisely. Don’t rush.’ And it’s a great slogan, not just for roads. It’s a great slogan, for life, and work.

To go gently, with speed. To be mindful.

To go gently, when pressure is building.

And it might feel counter-intuitive to do that when feeling the need to advance quickly. Yet, it’s something to consider, regularly. To take time off the treadmill, and evaluate, if the speed is running accurately.

It is what I review regularly when I check in with my coachees. And how they are travelling, in managing their holistic leadership priorities, and their mandala of wholeness activities.

Whether you are running a business, a corporation, a family, a household, or a combination, success includes the ability to slow down and consider.

As an executive I was often challenged by competing priorities, and the need for speed. One example was when I was asked to implement new legislation, an election promise, in a record timeframe. It didn’t take long to realise that forcing the timeframe would be ill-advised, for everyone. My professional team was starting to buckle under the pressure with no opportunity for further resourcing. There were major competing differences among the interest parties about the details that needed arranging. And listening to expert aspects, and engaging in collaboration, was necessary. Numerous interest groups needed to align. And I was already witnessing significant resistance, and conflict. Potential mistakes, were in the making, with large amounts of re-work projected, in the undertaking. A sure sign that the policy could fail. Because it’s success, was in the detail.

And everyone’s mandala of wholeness was being compromised, as the weight of the process, and potential for success was being undermined. The rush was looking more like a potential crash. It was becoming a stressful time.

With agreement, I negotiated with the Government of the day, the divergent competing industry bodies, and government agencies, to set a target that was more realistic. And that saved the day. All parties agreed on how to implement, in a better, more constructive, way. The legislation was delivered six months after timeframe, with significantly fewer regulatory rewrites and upgrades than originally anticipated, if it had been pushed full steam ahead.

It became everyone’s success.

Perhaps there is pressure on your team, the family, with competing priorities concurrently, or you are feeling it personally. Speed can put stress on everybody, as it has a cumulative affect in it’s rippling.

Consider Pausing. Fine-tuning. Cutting out the non-essential. Re-negotiating what’s realistic. And re-prioritising actions, as you are managing.

Honestly consider the intensity with which you may be engaging. Build in resiliency. And choose wisely.

As you ease into Autumn, a lovely metaphor for a newer, slower season, in transition, Go Gently, With Speed.

SaraSwati Shakti

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