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What’s your urgency?

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in Leaders & Managers

People often describe leaders as having a sense of urgency.

Author John Kotter, in A Sense of Urgency, says there are two kinds, one good and one bad.

The bad kind is driven by panic and characterized by breathless activity that produces nothing, or at least nothing new. A lot of people run around trying to come up with answers. Everybody’s exhausted.

The good kind is marked by a constant roving search for external dangers and opportunities. It focuses narrowly and relentlessly on only those things that advance your enterprise. A leader tells people in an urgent situation: “Look at your calendar. Whatever’s on there that doesn’t clearly move us forward, get rid of it.”

— Adapted from "Lighting a fire under them," interview with Leigh Buchanan, Inc. magazine.

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