In the “hustle culture” and “startup grind” the bias is for action – fast, decisive action. And sometimes that can be a great way to make progress in your business. 

But speed for speed’s sake can lead to errors, confusion, and rework. 

Or, something even worse. 

I was immediately drawn to the post below by former fighter pilot and entrepreneur, Luke Layman. This man has experienced speed in a way most of us never will, and his perspective on this was refreshing. Below is his post on LinkedIn. You can see the first part on your screen, but please scroll down and read the whole thing.

Have you ever felt like you were losing control of your business? Of course you have! We all have. I might incorporate this PIO term, because that is likely what is happening. I have been in business for 14 years. My business is pretty stable in many respects.

And would hitting the gas help in this situation? It would not. It would make it worse, most likely. What I should do is slow down and evaluate. My business is probably fine, I am just making the situation worse by flailing around. 

As Taylor Swift would say, “It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem – it’s me.”

A client of mine started a new job recently. As a crazy coincidence, I talked to someone else that same week who has worked as a contractor for the company for two years. The first words out of that person’s mouth when I asked him about the company were, “The CEO is crazy. He keeps changing his mind.” 

Pilot Induced Oscillations for sure. 

From the second part of Layman’s post:

We get so focused on where we are going and people telling us to take “massive action” that we end up in this sloppy pattern where we are constantly correcting our own mistakes

But the same holds true in your personal life. We can run around with our hair on fire and push and push, when the best strategy would be to slow down to assess the situation and identify what options are possible. Only then would we consciously decide what to do next.

So, the next time you are tempted to hit the gas, consider whether that is the right decision, or if tapping the break might be a better choice. 

Photo by Jatin singh on Unsplash