What race are you planning to run at the start of a project? A race for speed or a maranthon on muddy trails?

Endurance is not always a virtue.

I have seen leaders show great endurance in leading marathon projects. They are putting in marathon hours. The sweat sheen on them and their teams is obvious, even heroic.

Yet, when you look closer one can see that endurance is needed for the wrong reasons. Here are five of the top reasons for needing endurance for the wrong reasons.

  1. The project’s targets have kept changing without leadership control.
  2. There has been significant avoidable rework slowing all parts of the project.
  3. Indecision on decisions, even the obvious ones, have slowed the whole team.
  4. In the “Productivity vs. Drama Ratio,” drama is winning.
  5. Technical debt or historical baggage is a lead weight dragging the velocity down.

Heroic endurance is not required to read a newsletter or to lead great projects. The key is to lead with speed to value.