To Win The Race…Stop
Festina lente, or in English, make haste slowly, has been used as a motto often. Among its proponents have been Emperor Augustus and the Medicis. In more recent times we hear people say to go fast, go slow.
Good advice, but I think there is more to it.
Sometimes people tell me that the world is moving too fast. How nice it would be if it would slow down for a while so they can catch their breath. They need some slow time to enable them to recharge and assess how they’re doing before continuing their race forward. I myself have addressed this many times in my missives on the value of “clarity breaks”.
Early this morning I received a call from Ron Pirollo, an exceptional financial wizard I’ve teamed up with to address several client situations. Ron was stuck in traffic on his way to a meeting.
“Who is most into speed?” he asked me, while still moving slowly. Then answering his own question before I could respond, he said “Race car drivers. They go hurtling around the track as fast as possible always trying to get a little more speed out of their car. A few seconds faster can make the difference in whether you win or lose.”
“And yet”, he continued, “the driver will take a pit stop for gas and a tire change and watch all the other cars racing past as time ticks away. Think of the discipline this takes. The discipline to sit in the car while everyone else is racing past you. The discipline to stop and trust your team to know exactly what they’re doing so they can get you moving again in the shortest possible time. The discipline to trust your team to help you become a winner.”
Hearing Ron’s story made me realize there’s something missing in the sayings about going slow to go fast. How do you decide when it’s okay or even necessary, to go slow to enable you to go fast?
Race car drivers don’t randomly stop for the few seconds of a pit stop. First they balance such factors as gas remaining and distance to go to figure out the best time to stop with the optimal chance of then racing off to win.
It’s great to go fast and get things done quickly, to move your business forward rapidly, to achieve your goals speedily. But it’s also important to slow down and take stock of where you are and how you’re doing, and correct your course as necessary. Too often those racing forward forget the value and power of slowing down and looking around to ensure you’re not running amuck.
And timing and a good team are everything when it comes to slowing down to assess the situation. Timing comes from carefully watching how things are going and always comparing this to what’s still required to win the race. Good people you totally trust are needed for their knowledge and expertise to help correct issues and guide the journey forward.
Don’t let your desire to get there quickly overcome your desire to get there successfully. Take a break and assess your situation.