John Wooden said, “Be quick but don’t hurry.” From a business point of view, going slow at first enhances speed in the end.
I recently enjoyed an enlightening conversation with Ms. Jocelyn Davis, one of the authors of “Strategic Speed: Mobilize People, Accelerate Execution.” I was delighted to learn that her story includes a personal journey to strategic speed.
Leadership Freak (LF): Can you tell me about a tipping point in your own career, an event or experience that made a significant difference in your work-life?
Jocelyn Davis (JD): It’s funny you ask because I’m realizing my relationship with Mimi Bennett, (former VP of Product Development at The Forum Corporation,) had a huge impact on my own ability to achieve strategic speed. I was 29 when I joined Mimi’s team. Her mentorship dramatically influenced my effectiveness, reduced my time to value, and developed my current leadership style.
LF: Many lives are enriched by mentors. Can you give us some detail on how Mimi influenced you?
JD: I’d be glad to. Although I was a junior member of the team, she always brought me along to meetings, on client calls, to pilot programs. She explained everything, and she involved me in decisions. When I say, “She involved me in everything,” I mean everything.
LF: I see. You’d call that mentoring by intensive involvement.
JF: Yes, you could definitely say that.
LF: That doesn’t sound like strategic speed. That sounds slow to me. It sounds like duplication of effort.
JD: I know it seems inefficient but in reality it enabled me to start adding value a lot sooner. In the beginning I was just tagging along. But the mentoring I received significantly reduced time to value. Mimi was like a catapult to my value at Forum.
LF: I hear you saying, going slow at first significantly enhanced your strategic speed later.
***** Questions for your comments *****
Have you seen the ill effects of going fast too soon?
Other than mentoring, what other strategies might enhance personal or organizational strategic speed?
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