5 Ways to Bring Your Best When Schedules are Tight

In one study*, theology students at Princeton University stepped over a person in need. They were on their way to give a talk about the Good Samaritan. The needy person coughed and moaned as they stepped over him.

You should know that some of the students were primed to be in a hurry.


  • Elevates results over relationships.
  • Blinds to inconsistency. An inconsistent jerk-hole mouths the words, “We put people first,” while treating people like tools.
  • Turns you inward. When the clock’s ticking, it’s all about you.

A person in a hurry doesn’t show interest in people. You don’t mind cutting people off, barking orders, or pushing ahead of slow-moving groups when your flight is boarding at gate 84 and you’re at gate 3.

Getting stuff done isn’t an excuse to be a jerk-hole.

5 ways to cage your inner jerk-hole:

#1. Take a short break after completing a task.

Don’t simply rush from one task to the next. Breathe. Reconnect. Take a short walk.

#2. Eat lunch with people for the sole purpose of learning about them and sharing a bit of yourself.

#3. Include brief social time at the beginning of meetings.

Ask team members for updates on their training, kids, or personal achievements, for example.

#4. Delegate a task so you have time to aid a teammate in need.

#5. Reschedule non-binding activities in order to give attention to another’s pressing need.

  • Compassion seldom fits neatly into a busy schedule. Compassion requires passion and flexibility.
  • Helping others isn’t an excuse for not getting your work done.

Bonus: Schedule people-focused-walk-abouts in the morning and afternoon. Treat people-focused walk-abouts like other important appointments.

How might leaders deal with time pressure and manage their inner jerk-holes?

*From Jerusalem to Jericho

(The parable of the Good Samaritan is the story of a social outcast who inconvenienced himself and gave aid to a person in need, while religious insiders passed by.)