The Pace of Business

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the pace of business, and how it’s so different for a variety of businesses. And different people.

It seems that there is an ideal pace that suits every person. Some perform at their best when they’re hustling quickly, and some perform best when they seem almost laid back in their pace.

What’s ideal for you? Do you need to pick it up a notch or two? Would moving a little quicker help you perform even better? Or do you need to slow your pace a little, and be more analytical and methodical?

The entrepreneurial spirit has a big impact on pace. Entrepreneurs seem to move at a faster pace than people in big companies. It may seem obvious that it’s because they have more to do – most entrepreneurs seem to wear more than one hat. But I’m not sure that’s always the case. It’s almost a chicken and egg scenario: Which came first, the faster pace that led to being an entrepreneur, or that being an entrepreneur meant working at a faster pace?

More and more large companies are trying to infuse an entrepreneurial spirit in their corporate culture, and that means picking the pace up a little. It’s putting challenges in place that force their employees to work faster; it’s encouraging a fast pace.

Having come from an entrepreneurial background, I find the pace of a larger company… well, just plain slow. I’m not saying it’s wrong, or bad. Just slow. And sometimes that is bad – sometimes it’s not.

What’s important is that you be aware of your pace, and determine if it’s appropriate. The fix – either speeding up or slowing down – is relatively easy. Just be aware of what your pace is like and compare it to what you think is appropriate. Then, dial it up or down as needed. Yes, it’s a conscious choice. It’s not something deep and difficult to change. Sure, some people are just more at ease in a slower world, and some in a faster-paced world. But either way, you can adapt.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very slow and 10 being super fast, what pace does the environment (your company, your team) currently operate at?
  • On that same scale, what pace do you currently operate at most of the time?
  • What is the ideal pace for you to operate at to perform at your best in your environment?

If there’s a difference between the answers to these three questions, imagine yourself either picking up or slowing down your pace. Imagine it, and then consciously dial it up or down. Performance and pace go hand and hand.

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