Friday, December 02, 2020

And The Magic Ingredient Is...Time.

“Now hast thou but one bare hour to live,
And then thou must be damned perpetually.
Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven,
That time may cease, and midnight never come.”

(Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus)

You’re standing on the beach of your dreams, watching a sunset that flares with every color you can call to mind, plus a few you can’t even name. You’re listening to a piece of music that sets your body and soul tingling with pleasure. You’re making love with an intensity of feeling you never imagined could exist.

“All right, time’s up. Move along there now. Next one, please.”


“Your time is up. We haven’t got all day. You should have done all you need to do by now.”


“No buts. If you can’t manage Nirvana-like ecstasy, plus a couple of world-shaking orgasms, in three point five minutes, that’s your problem. I’ve got a universe to run here.”

Far-fetched? Not really. That’s where our world is headed. If it can’t be done in five minutes or less, forget it. No time.

Slow Leadership isn’t slow for the sake of it. It’s slow because that’s what it takes. Strip away enough time and you’re left with a picture on a calendar, a ringtone on your cellphone and a quick fumble behind the filing cabinets. The stuff of great experiences? I don’t think so.

Wine has to mature to become great. Cheese needs time to bring out the flavor. Gabble through the greatest poem at the speed of a sports commentator and you’ll be left with disappointment. Why rush through life? It’s the only one you have. Do you want it to be over so soon? Doesn’t it take time to appreciate its joys and experiences?

Money isn’t a substitute for time. However much you make, without time you can’t spend it or appreciate what you spent it on. Nor is wealth a substitute for love. And making more money for the business is definitely no substitute for leadership.

How much of other people’s time are you worth? A few minutes? An hour? A day? How long should they take to appreciate the full flavor of who you are as a leader and a person? Would giving you less time mean they sold you short?

Fine, so that’s how much of their time you’re worth. Now, how much of your time should you give them?

Time is the magic ingredient. Take it away and what’s left is worthless. Rushed, frantic leadership is no leadership at all.

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