The Speed Trap: When Taking Your Time (Really) Matters

I'm not sure I've ever said this before, but here goes. You will find here at tompeters.com a new paper I wrote. Fact is, and this is what I've never said, I think the paper is important. In fact, very important.

The bottom line re "Speed Trap" is that I think in this age of "speed, speed, more speed," it is in fact the case that the most important things associated with enterprise effectiveness and, yes, excellence take time. In fact, lots of time.

My summary of my last 37 years' work can be stated in six words:

Hard is soft.
Soft is Hard.

To wit:

"Hard" (the plans, the numbers, the org charts) is "soft." Plans are more often than not fantasies, numbers are readily manipulated—case in point, super-"quants," ratings-agency geniuses, and others of their ilk cleverly packaged and gave high safety scores to "derivatives" (and derivatives of derivatives and ...) consisting of valueless mortgages—thus spurring the multi-trillion-dollar financial crash of 2007–2008++. And org charts: in practice, they have little to do with how things actually get done.

"Soft" (people, relationships, organizational culture) is "hard." You get things done, for example, on the basis of your patiently developed network of relationships. You embed a captivating and effective culture by living and reinforcing "the way we do things around here" day after day after day, in fact hour after hour after hour&mdsh;forever. And the focus on people? Here's the thing, an organization is nothing more and nothing less than "people (our folks) serving people (our customers and communities)." And for the leader, who is fulltime in the people business, it's all about people (leaders) serving people (our folks) serving people (customers and communities).

The heart of the paper is an examination of 17 important things that ... TAKE TIME:

*BUILDING/MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS ... takes time.
*RECRUITING ALLIES TO YOUR CAUSE ... takes time.
*LUNCH ... takes time.
*BUILDING/MAINTAINING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CULTURE ... takes time.
*READING/STUDYING ... takes time.
*WAITING (per se) ... takes time.
*FIERCE/AGGRESSIVE LISTENING ... takes time.
*PRACTICE & PREP FOR ANYTHING & EVERYTHING ... take time.
*MBWA/MANAGING BY WANDERING AROUND ... takes time.
*SLACK IN YOUR SCHEDULE ... takes time.
*HIRING/EVALUATING/PROMOTING ... take time.
*THOUGHTFULNESS & INSTINCTIVE SMALL GESTURES (SMALL>>BIG) ... take time.
*EXTREME HUMANIZATION/RADICAL HUMANIZATION ... takes time.
*GAMECHANGING DESIGN ... takes time.
*YOUR NEXT EMAIL ... takes time.
*"THE LAST 1%" OF ANY TASK OR PROJECT ... takes time.
*E-X-C-E-L-L-E-N-C-E ... takes time.

At the end of the day (and the list), you can say with certainty: ALL OF THE SO-CALLED "SOFT STUFF" THAT IS THE REAL "HARD STUFF") ... takes time.

So here's the deal: I am desperate for you to read this paper, nod your head vigorously, take action ... AND SHARE THE PAPER WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN!!!!!!!

I'll do what I can, but I'm counting on you!!

[Ed. NOTE: The paper is updated as of 08.11.18.]