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The Need for Speed


The Need for Speed

In the classic movie “Top Gun” we all remember the scene where Maverick and Goose, while walking on the tarmac to their plane, offer each other a “Hi-5” and Maverick exclaims, “I feel the need for speed.”

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Bill Ford, Chairman of the Board for Ford, announced the replacement of their current CEO, Mark Fields, a 26-year Ford veteran, with Ford Board member and well-known “fix it” professional Jim Hackett.

Mr. Ford explained that the reason for the change was related to Ford’s sagging stock price, overall value and poor responses to market circumstances.

Mr. Ford said, “As a company we have to move faster; we have to encourage and trust our people to move faster; we need to empower them to move faster; we need speed and we need to take hard actions and make tough decisions faster than we have been doing.”

Regardless of whatever industry you’re in, Mr. Ford’s comments are applicable to you as well. So, ask yourself:

  • Are you making the tough decisions that need to be made when they need to be made?
  • Are you taking required action when needed or are you thinking too much (or as I say, studying all of the sides of a circle) about what “could” happen?
  • Are you creating a healthy sense of urgency within your company and team, or do you accept whatever pace exists?
  • Are you doing the right things to earn the trust of your team and are you demonstrating your trust in them?
  • Are you being honest and clear with your team by sharing with them the expectations they need to achieve, as well as providing them the resources and tools they need to help them succeed?

The best leaders value focused speed and action. They also know how to ask the right questions at the right time.

Are you asking the right questions and taking the right actions at the right time or are you cruising along and accepting the status quo?

If you don’t feel the need for speed, what exactly are you feeling? Don’t wait for your Board of Directors or customers to replace you.

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