Beware of a Shortcut Leadership Strategy
I admit, I get a bit impatient at times... Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration... I get very impatient at times! Lately, I've noticed a ton of impatience in my driving. Now it's not road rage (not yet!), but getting close. It's not just that slow drivers get in the left lane, but more that I seem to think I now know every shortcut in the greater metro Atlanta area. So, my solution for impatience on the roads is that I get frustrated and try to find shortcuts or alternate routes to get somewhere. Only to find that these shortcuts end up taking longer and actually don't get me to my destination at all.
We're all like this at certain times in life. We look for shortcuts, for alternate routes, for the easy road, the road less traveled but quicker to the destination. Or so we think.
So here are a few thoughts on Shortcuts that hopefully are helpful.
- Shortcuts aren't bad. Most shortcuts are valuable and helpful. But beware of constantly looking for them.
- Little (or at least less) strategy goes into shortcuts. As so many times shortcuts haven't been planned out, and actually lead you to a different destination, or worse off, just get you lost and late to your final destination.
- Being impatient is not a good thing. Patience is a virtue. Shortcuts are usually due to impatience and frustration, vs. relying on a system that has proved worthwhile over time.
- There's value in the journey. The longer route may be better for you in the end. You'll see or hear or learn things that you wouldn't have otherwise. And maybe see more scenery, and find that it's intentional and on purpose.
- The quality may suffer. In organizational life, shortcuts may end up leading to a lack of excellence.
- Short term gain vs long term rewards. Shortcuts are usually tied to short term gain. Again, not bad, but long term perspective and long term goals are what vision and legacy are built on.
- Staying in your lane. Be committed to the lane and current assignment you have. Switching lanes and switching roads and switching routes leads to anxiety and lack of contentment. Be diligent and faithful to the road you're on.
So next time you think you see a shortcut, and you're convinced it's the better road to take, beware.
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