Be Quick but Don’t Hurry – John Wooden

One of my favorite quotes is, “Be quick but don’t hurry,” John Wooden. If you aren’t quick in today’s world, you’re done. If you hurry, things are poorly done or not done at all.

quick but don't hurry

Creating Urgency:

Nothing gets done without urgency. With that in mind, shorter timelines are better than longer. They create urgency – Be quick.

Urgency and Quality:

Shorter timelines enhance efficiency.

Shorter timelines, on the other hand, threaten quality – Don’t hurry. Allow more time the first time but shorten timelines thereafter.

Urgency and Stress:

Shorter timelines increase stress. It’s easy to go too fast and stress out people. Moderate levels of stress enhance performance. But, go too far and performance drops. That’s where Wooden’s wisdom shines. Never hurry when it comes to people. Instead, “Go slow to go fast.”

Going Slow:

Go slow with people be quick with performance.

Take time to calm frustrated employees or volunteers who are stressed by short timelines. Listen to their concerns and frustration. They’re frustrated because they want to succeed and the timeline you established seems to block, not enhance success.

Move forward by asking if they think they can meet deadlines. If they say yes, express confidence in them and say, let me know if I can be helpful.

If they don’t think they can meet the deadline, ask what will it take? You may not be able to provide their request. In this case, express confidence and ask them to do their best.

Shorter timelines demand you manage emotions and provide support.

How do you create urgency?