One of the most important things that young, emerging leaders must embrace is the speed of how to lead. True leadership cannot be slowed down or stalled. It happens in real time. To be honest, many leaders crave leadership, but they don't crave the speed required to lead. Whether you are leading a church, business, or organization things happen fast, opportunities knock suddenly, and decisions need immediate response.
Now, I am not suggested over-working or not taking vacations, but several leaders I have met over the years pride themselves on breaks, vacations, golf, minimalistic schedules, and sabbaticals. All of those things should be on the table, but when that becomes the norm your leadership is heading for retirement, not retirement. Real leadership happens fast. Decisions have to be made.
Listen to this incredible detail from The Five Coat Consulting Group: "The US Army loves duct tape (which it calls 100 miles-per-hour tape). Invented during World War II by Johnson & Johnson, duct tape was a strong, waterproof self-adhesive tape designed to keep water out of ammunition cases. The first duct tape was a dull greenish cotton-mesh fabric, that was waterproofed with polyurethane sealant, which was then coated with a rubber-based adhesive. Not only was it strong, but you didn't need scissors to cut it - you could tear it, longways and crossways, by hand. The Army has used it ever since. It picked up the nickname 100 MPH tape because it would stay on vehicles that drove that fast" (https://www.thefivecoatconsultinggroup.com/the-coronavirus-crisis/100-mph-tape-leadership). Now, if you are a preacher, that'll preach. Leaders need to be the 100mph person that can stay attached when the speed to lead hits a max.
⚠️ WARNING ⚠️
100 mph is an incredible rush, unless you are heading in the wrong direction.
Now, I used to have a Ford Mustang many years ago. I was younger and more foolish, but I would push that vehicle to 120-130mph on some backroad upstate New York roads. It was a rush. However, one of the greatest challenges for leadership is to make sure you are heading in the correct direction. What good is it to go fast to the wrong destination. So, not only does the pace matter, but so does the pursuit.
Here's a couple quick hits on 100MPH LEADERSHIP:
Confirm the direction you are called to lead.
Determine your success metrics.
Pursue relationships that elevate you.
Take a break or you will break.
Maintain healthy schedules and boundaries.
Don't disconnect for long periods of time.
Reassess your priorities and purpose constantly.
Enjoy the journey.
One of the great dangers to leadership is not enjoying the journey or even remembering it because life moves so fast. Stop, pause, breath, and enjoy the process. The day before I wrote this article my wife and I invited our staff to our home last minute during office hours for a barbecue. Our team works hard, and we wanted to demonstrate that they are more important than their job. We value them, but we also value the journey we are all on together.
Leading at a fast pace is mission critical for leaders that desire to lead well and last long, but don't forget to stop and enjoy the details. After all, you are "100-miles-per-hour-tape" that will keep your organization moving in the right direction.