You Can Be Quick; But Don’t Hurry

“Be quick but don’t hurry” was a frequent phrase Coach John Wooden used at basketball practice, and it has great application to all phases of everyday life.

Andy Hill, author of Be Quick- But Don’t Hurry, put it this way when he spoke at the first John R. Wooden Course:
“This phrase applies not just to sports, but to every phase of your life. It applies to our expectations of anything we hope to accomplish and how quickly we can expect to get there.

“Impatience and unrealistic goals will sabotage a talented group of individuals in any workplace.
“Set your sights too high and expect immediate attainment of your goals, and invariably, you will never reach your destination.

“It is vital to focus on things that you can actually control, like your own effort, as opposed to external controls over which you have no control.

“Leaders should strive for quickness in their work. Most people are naturally hesitant, and the Wooden approach was to remove all hesitation from the game.

“If you can remove hesitation from your game, you will be well on your way to being a better leader and your organization will run more efficiently.”

Andy further identified four key pointers to remove hesitation:

Avoid delays.

Avoid maybe.

Move on from mistakes.

Follow your instincts.

Coach commented on the importance of quickness as follows:
You have to know what to do, but you have to be quick to do it or you might not get to do it at all.
I think that’s important in most everything.

Don’t hurry. You make mistakes when you hurry.
Be under control. I want quickness under control.
Otherwise, you’ll have activity without achievement. I don’t care for activity without achievement. Coach believed that quickness in proper execution was necessary.

He believed that quickness was a result of preparation and often cautioned that failure to prepare is preparing to fail. If you hurry and make mistakes, it is simply activity. As Coach often said, don’t mistake activity for achievement.

Be quick but don’t hurry, and as you prepare to take action, consider the question Coach Wooden asked his team players:
If you do not have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

You know the traits of a crocodile, don’t you? It never hunts outside water. It always goes into the water to catch its prey. It never goes in the villages or in the bush looking for food. It strikes at the appropriate time. So a guerrilla leader strikes at the appropriate time.

There is actually a challenging moment that brings out the best in us; similarly also, the worst. It is how we attend to these challenges that defines our leadership potential.

Leaders have an important role during a crisis and that is to provide perspective. Crisis are unending and it is supposed to be characteristic of a great leader to know the exact tactic and method to alleviate the crisis at a given time.

First of all, in the face of a crisis, a leader should take a moment and figure out the problem. This is the first and most important step. A leader just does not face crisis immediately it happens. He goes back, thinks of the best strategy and acts.

Emmerson Mnangagwa described a great leader as one that strikes at an appropriate and well calculated time. A leader must never act promptly and hurriedly. He must provide direction and respond to situation in a timely fashion.

Acting hurriedly only makes people nervous. You can be quick; but don’t hurry. A great leader must also be ready to demonstrate control and manage expectations. When trouble sets in, you need to reassure your subordinates that it will be over soon and give them no reasons to doubt.

It falls under the jurisdiction of the leader to address and manage the size of the crisis at that given point in time. When things happen quickly, there is little or no control over it. A true leader would put himself into action and bring his people and resources to bear.

The extent of a leader is often established during a crisis. Leaders who can engage unswervingly, but still preserve their sense of perception, are the ones that will help the society survive.

One Response

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *