I remember from Driver’s Ed many, many years ago that concept of driving at a high speed and then slowing to normal traffic speeds and then the really weird feeling that driving slow in normal traffic was waaaayyyy tooooo sloooowww. The experts call this…being velocitized.
I see this frequently in business leaders. The hard-charging, over-achieving executive has adapted her lifestyle to an incredibly fast hybrid blend of business and family life. She has morphed, and evolved, from a normal pace, to a super-human rhythm that appears to work for her, but leaves her colleagues, employees, and family literally blown into the roadside ditch from her considerable momentum.
As a culture, we admire energetic, high-impact, bigger than life leaders. We respect and admire the leaders that can be more than we can be. We also secretly wait for the fiery accident like a NASCAR fan.
The reason for this missive is that there is a serious disregarded negative effect on her organization. While she convinces herself that high speed action is good, her team prays for an introspective moment of clarity. They yearn for a chance to seek her counsel and advice. They hope for a few moments to better understand what they are supposed to do to fulfill her agenda.
I propose that most senior executives need to really consider how to downshift their exotic business “sports car” to a much lower gear. Let’s enjoy the open roof, roll down the windows, and soak up the sun & wind. I propose that you force yourself to take a bunch of excruciatingly slow laps around the track. You will be much more effective and you find balance, but more importantly your team will catch up to you. In the end, your success will always be measured by how effective your team executes, and not how fast you drove on the speedway.
You have been velocitized, and just like your Driver’s Ed instructor, I highly encourage you to slow down to the pace of the traffic around you.