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Sloooowww Doooown to Speed Up Your Performance

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your performance. Reading time: 2:57.

          You’re busy. You’re late for your next meeting. The Corporate Merry-Go –Around seems to be speeding up every day. Everything’s a blur. Faster. Better. Cheaper. Go. Go. Go.

          Whoa there, Speed Breath. Sloooowww Doooown to speed up your performance.

          That’s what the most effective leaders I know do. They perform like highly tuned athletes.

          Time seems to stand still to athletes when they are performing at their highest level.

           Athletes tap into their perception of time slowing down to become more aware of their surroundings, more sensitive to the issues confronting them. As time slows they find themselves with more time to make minor adjustments that result in major achievements and record breaking performances.

          In slow motion, these leaders don’t over react even when confronted. They slow down. They take a step back. They  better assess the entire situation with a 360 degree perspective. Then –and only then- do they ascertain the most productive response. They exude all the power and poise of a well-trained karate practitioner who when attacked–pauses–then steps back assesses the situation before defending himself or herself. Methodically. 

         Controlling your desire to reactively defend yourself is easier said that done. After all, slowing down is harder to do than speeding up especially when you are seeking high performance. After all, it’s reasonable to expect: the better you can do something the faster you should be able to do it. But the most effective leaders I know, know better. They Slooooow Dooooown.

      They really listen to their inner voice that tells them  the music in their lives doesn’t have to be played “fast” even if it sounds fast like ragtime music. At least not according to the famed ragtime composer, Scott Joplin.

It is Never Right to Play Ragtime Fast

          His printed scores carried an instruction at the top of the first page cautioning pianist “….it is never right to play ragtime fast.” The composer of  The Entertainer  and other ragtime songs used syncopated rhythms to make the music sound fast.

         Slooooow Dooooown.

        Leaders embrace Mozart’s notion that it takes more skill to play the piano slowly and fully. Mozart said when you play the piano fast “you can leave out a few notes especially in difficult passages without anybody noticing it. But is that beautiful music?”

         Leaders play beautiful music. Leaders play all the notes, slooowly. Maybe that’s why summer camp students at Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, NY always play the piano FIVE times more slowly in learning a new piece of music. Note by note by note. Sometimes those piano students invest three hours to playing a single sheet of music. Over and over and over again. Note by note. By note. Slowly.

         How Note-able! And notable.  Chances are you will never hear THAT song played on the corporate Merry-Go-Around. Unless you first get off. Slowly.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Slooooow Dooooown to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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