I recently saw a quote from one of my favorite thought leaders, Simon Sinek: “It’s better to go slow in the right direction than to go fast in the wrong direction.”
This caught my attention because the further we get into Q4, the faster things are moving. As business leaders, we’re juggling the wrap-up of 2022 initiatives with 2023 planning. In our personal lives, we’re juggling all the people, places, and things we have going on throughout the holiday season. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also usually the busiest and most stressful.
With all that in mind, Simon Sinek’s quote was a great reminder of how important it is to slow down. Not only so that we can enjoy the special moments along the way, but also to make sure we’re being productive and efficient with our time and energy.
Focusing on the business side of this topic, I’m always reminding our partner brands – and myself – to stay mindful and strategic in preparing for 2023. It can be hard to justify moving slowly in such a fast-paced world, but achieving long-term success requires long-term thinking. And sometimes long-term thinking requires pumping the brakes to consider how our actions in the present will impact the future.
While it’s much easier said than done, here are a few benefits of slowing down to think and plan strategically throughout the final months of this year.
Identify blind spots.
One of the most powerful, and often underappreciated, aspects of slowing down to think strategically is acknowledging that we don’t know what we don’t know. In doing so, we’re able be proactive in filling insight gaps, sidestepping pitfalls, and answering questions we might have otherwise overlooked.
If we move too quickly, then those gaps, pitfalls, and unanswered questions become apparent only after it’s too late. By consciously seeking out and tactfully addressing blind spots, we expand our field of vision and see the competitive landscape more clearly.
Just as we’re able to identify blind spots, slowing down allows us to discover new opportunities. And sometimes those opportunities are hidden within blind spots, so the two can go hand-in-hand. The more methodical and strategic we are in how we navigate our ever-changing world, the more likely we are to recognize and capitalize on chances for growth and evolution.
Slowing down also provides time to assess whether a new opportunity is the right one based on our big-picture goals and objectives. Rather than jumping at each and every prospect that arises, we give ourselves time to ensure there is alignment with who we are today and who we want to be in the future.
Operate with foresight.
Success in business is about impact and results. So, it’s understandable that decisions made today are justified by short-term outcomes. But how will decisions and actions today play out six weeks from now? Six months from now? Six years from now? By extending our time horizons and thinking further down the road, we can prepare for any shifts or pivots that might be needed along the way.
Operating with foresight also adds new perspectives to our decision-making processes. We start challenging our own assumptions and considering alternative solutions which increases confidence in whichever path we decide to take.
As we move into 2023, I encourage you to pump the brakes from time to time. It’s easy to get swept up in the rush to complete tasks, acquire new customers, and solidify plans for next year. But we want to be positioning ourselves for long-term success. We want to capitalize on emerging opportunities and mitigate the risks of rushing from one point to the next. In our modern, highly competitive world, slowing down might seem like it’s hindering progress. The reality is, making confident and informed decisions the first time around is the best way to be productive and efficient.