15 Ways to Generate Urgency Now

Dan Rockwood takes a spin through the land of Urgency

Failure is the result of lack of urgency.

Comfortable rhythms set-in. People wander toward fuzzy goals. Focus becomes drifting.

Complacency drives real leaders crazy.

Goals without urgency are fantasies.

15 indicators urgency has left the building:

  • Customers irritate and outsiders are marginalized.
  • Teams justify poor performance.
  • Comfort is job one.
  • Everyone tip-toes around important issues.
  • Minimizing problems.
  • Maximizing history.
  • Protecting the bosses feelings.
  • Meetings without action.
  • “It’s not my job,” is the team’s motto.
  • Leaders and managers remain distant and hands off.
  • Deadlines are suggestions.
  • OK is good enough.
  • “Our system doesn’t allow us to do that,” is acceptable.
  • Infighting prevails.
  • Office politics rules.

Success requires urgency. Complacent teams are dead before they start.

15 ways to generate urgency: Urgency ignites with the feeling that you must solve this problem or seize this opportunity, now.

  • Listen to outsiders. Insiders – who lack passion for customers – are complacent, already.
  • Speak to their values. Generating urgency is about whats in them, not you.
    Ask, “What happens if we do nothing?”
  • Point out current or future dangers.
  • Burn the ships. Leaders who aren’t solving big problems are figureheads.
  • Define next steps. Set someones hair on fire the next time a meeting ends without action items.
  • Measure results. Ask for updates that have observable results.
  • Keep asking about the same things.
  • Shine the light on the boogeyman in the corner. Nothing gets done when leaders pretend everything’s OK.
  • Celebrate a victory.
  • Create a deadline.
  • Set a goal.
  • Visit a successful competitor.
  • Honor young leaders who get things done.
  • Transfer authority and responsibility from talkers to doers.
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