The most successful managers I know are highly attentive of their colleagues’ sense of urgency and incessantly adapt to them.
In his excellent Steve Jobs biography, Walter Isaacson evokes Apple CEO (and operations wizard) Tim Cook’s responsiveness and a sense of urgency:
At a meeting early in his tenure, Cook was told of a problem with one of Apple’s Chinese suppliers. “This is really bad,” he said. “Someone should be in China driving this.” Thirty minutes later he looked at an operations executive sitting at the table and unemotionally asked, “Why are you still here?” The executive stood up, drove directly to the San Francisco airport, and bought a ticket to China. He became one of Cook’s top deputies.
Idea for Impact: Bosses and customers often respond more positively to your focus on creating a sense of urgency before emerging problems erupt in a crisis.
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