“You own the accelerator for the speed of your own work and the work of those that you lead.”   — Immutable Law of Speed #1 From “Lead With Speed”

There was a tree down across the road. Speed limits were suddenly irrelevant. The engine power of any of the cars waiting had also been made irrelevant.

We have had many storms in the area recently, and trees down across trails and roads have been a more frequent experience than usual. Road workers have become the leaders who own the number one key to speed in this situation. They have chainsaws.

Over the years, and especially recently, I have worked with numerous leaders who encountered various types of metaphorical storms that put multiple barriers in the way of speed. These barriers have ranged from the impacts of the pandemic to events like significant changes in tools that affect everyone’s workflow.

The best leaders I work with are on the constant watch for anything from a speed bump to a roadblock impacting their teams. These leaders walk around with their own ‘chainsaws’ to clear those barriers. They do and say things that are different from those said by less attuned leaders. For example, these exceptional leaders say things like:

  • “Put in a purchase request for the things you need.  I will ensure they are funded.”
  • “I see what the technical issue is.  I don’t know how to fix it, but I know who can.  I will ask person X, and you will be flying again.”
  • “I understand the policy I put in place is negatively impacting your ability to get things done. I will modify it to address your issues.”

The most extraordinary thing great leaders do is give people their own chainsaws and teach them how to use them. 

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett

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