Bull at a gate? 3 ways to slow down & get more done

Does your 360 leadership feedback include comments like these?

  • He rushes into things without seeking input, then wonders why we don’t support the plan.
  • She didn’t plan for what could go wrong; afterwards, we were forced into repair mode.
  • She changes her mind so fast, and we’re expected to make it happen—it’s exhausting.
  • Love his energy but wish he had a volume control.
  • Not sure who will burn out first … her or us!

Your intention: Perhaps your feedback surprises or even enrages you? After all, you work hard, your intention is good, and you’re aiming for results—now! You’re determined to seize all opportunities, and action precedes clarity. You probably learn best on the go or maybe you experience FOMO: Fear of Missing Out.

The problem: You know your (inner) intention. Unfortunately others only see your (external) behaviour.

While you just want things to happen (now!), you could be developing a reputation for action without consideration—running like a bull at a gate. While you may be admired for your action focus, you could be leaving your team behind, and your stakeholders may be concerned about what they perceive is a lack of due diligence leading to rework.

So next time you say ‘let’s make this happen’, here’s a few suggestions to encourage followers:

  • Reduce an overly strong-goal focus – Imagine your success depended on working with your team to find five potential problems with the plan. Do that now.
  • Pause before taking action – If creating immediate action would set off a serious allergy, what would you do instead?
  • Decide rigorously – Canvas the opinions of others, and consider the new perspectives before finalising your decision.

It’s time to slow down and get more stuff done—and have it stick.

Have an extraordinary day.

  

Note: This blog is based on my latest book, Developing Direct Reports: Taking the guesswork out of leading leaders. Get the book to learn how to support leaders who suffer from Bull-at-a-Gate Syndrome (we call this ‘The Cyclone’), as well as 11 other leadership derailers.