Caution is the eldest child of wisdom
Sometimes an action step means stepping back to evaluate the steps you’ve already taken. Other times it means taking caution to assess the tools you have that will help you move forward.
The word Caution is defined as taking care to avoid danger or mistakes. When has there been a time when you slowed down and it ended up speeding you up in the end?
When I was starting my business, in addition to seeking out new clients, I took quite a bit of time to sit, think and write. Some of the material I wrote back then ended up being useful in some of the corporate workshops I’ve done since. On the outside, it looked like I was sitting still at my computer just writing. The reality, however, was that I was moving forward with caution by taking time to think and generate the tools I would later use in my coaching. Just as running into a burning house is not wise, sometimes rushing to action isn’t wise either. So what does it look like to move forward with caution?
- First, you need to assure yourself that slow moves toward your goal are still moves.
- Second, as a firefighter needs the right equipment before running into a burning house, assess what tools you need to reach the goal you want to reach.
- Third, spend some time with the tools you’ll need – thinking about how you might use those tools.
- Fourth, use them to generate a cautious move toward your goal.
Practically speaking, I’m finishing up an executive development tool right now that will raise a leader’s awareness of the right environment they need to function best in. Once I’m finished with the tool, I have in mind some leaders I want to use it on. So my slow move of working on the tool, in reality, is still progress.
Today, follow the steps above and generate a slow, cautious, thoughtful move toward your goal. Progress is still progress, even if it’s slow. Strategic speed is where urgency meets execution; it’s about implementing plans and strategies not only quickly, but well (Strategic Speed, Harvard Business Press).
This is day six of an exercise I’m engaging in called, 40 days of action, how to generate momentum on your most important goals. If you’d like to read the original blog, click here. If you’d like to participate in 40 days of action, click here to email me.