Which is better – spreading panic or creating a sense of urgency? What is the difference between the two? When a deadline looms, there is a heightened sense of tension amongst your team. Some people respond to this pressure better than others. But pressure is not panic, and neither is its urgency. Do you feel that sometimes your team lack any sense of time, or lack of urgency?
In other words, the deadline is only a week away but no one seems to be building in their sense of urgency?
Panic is NOT Good
Think what happens when people panic in situations. Someone who is claustrophobic will panic in a stuck lift. Panic causes a knee-jerk reaction, any reaction that removes the problem or the person from the situation thus, people jumping from burning buildings several stories up, knowing that they are unlikely to survive the fall. But they panic; they must get away from the fire.
Urgency is different. It means constantly moving fast, continually purging activities that are irrelevant and that eat into time. Business leaders suggest that creating a sense of urgency benefits a business. And this is how you notch things up a gear;
#1 Create a Relentless but Steady and Purposeful Culture
Change is the driving force behind expansion and evolution. As a business, you need to be spending time on things that are important. The importance of activities change over time, thus be prepared to adapt.
#2 Covet Good Emotional Responses
Urgency needs to be an undertone to your daily activities. Anxiety, panic and anger, three negative emotions linked to performance and pressure, need to banished.
Rather than suggestion negative consequences, suggest bigger, brighter, better opportunities.
#3 Look for Opportunities in Everything, including Failure
So, a project didn’t go to plan? There are many things that happen in business that create uncertainty. These things can weigh you and your business down. If you feel like you are pushing water uphill, negativity has got to you.
Urgency means seeing opportunities in everything. If a project is failing, what needs to change? How can it be changed, and when? Urgency means not dwelling on the negative but pushing forward with the positive.
#4 Urgency Killers
Complacency kills the sense of urgency. It may be that those who say ‘not now, later’ can see what needs doing but are overwhelmed by the ‘problem’ that they are unsure where or how to start. Or, they are panicking at the thought of change.
Be prepared for the ‘no-no’s’ and ensure they too are swept in the wave of urgency, rather than panic.
Urgency and Determination
Determination, the dogged pursuit of goals, are part and parcel of everyday business. But when there is a sense of urgency behind what you do, the results can be staggering.
It takes energy and it takes understanding. Panic ensues when you tell people that if something is not completed they can kiss goodbye to their jobs. Urgency is encouraging people to take bold steps and a ‘let’s see’ approach.