Good Things Take Time

I love late August/early September figs.  By the time they have baked in the sweltering sun for two to three months, they are bursting with flavor and ready to be eaten.

I think of figs at this time of the year, where it seems everyone is scrambling at turbo speed to get things done.  Our heads are running wild with business ideas, targets and options and we often undertake more things than we can do well, but we push through.  But not everything can or should be rushed.  If you eat a fig before it’s time, it not only tastes awful, it leaves a sticky residue in your mouth that lasts for a while and is difficult to wash off.

Warren Buffet once said: “No matter how great the talents or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t make a baby in a month by making nine women pregnant.”

With the speed of change so rapidly accelerating, it can be hard to keep pace.  So, like good leaders, we take a deep breath and keep running, trying to take tactical shortcuts where we can.  As managers, parents, educators we focus on training ourselves to be faster, to get better at handling multiple projects at the same time.  While this helps get through quick, urgent problems, in the long term, it compromises depth and quality.  Deep thinking, which requires time and focus, is just as critical a skill.

The myth of quick, fast and easy is one of the most destructive and soul-numbing beliefs I see with clients today.  It almost always takes more time than you’ve anticipated to achieve your objectives, and most of that time is spent on working hard.  Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to be good at something.  I’m not sure if that is always the case, but I do know that rushing things almost never gives you the result you truly want in the long term.  Many clients find themselves having created situations which did not bring the results they really wanted. Anything really worthwhile takes time, patience, perseverance and faith in the process.  

What are you doing to strengthen those skills?


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