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Managers Don’t Need to Always Go Full Throttle

One of the hardest lessons for managers to learn is how to move fast but not so fast that they don’t connect.

A few years ago I knew a manager that struggled with this exact issue. The problem with this situation is that the manager was moving at maximum speed all the time. It was rush, rush, and rush some more. No real conversations were possible.

This non-stop push was causing crankiness, exhaustion, and much less than the best that was possible. All of us need time to think. Our brains actually work best when we have thought time. In other words, we have to be able to slow down enough to reason, to contemplate.

My advice to this manager was to consider what happens with jet travel. The pilot applies full throttle for takeoff and the climb. But once they get to cruising altitude, the pilot reduces the throttle and puts the plane into a cruise. This saves an enormous amount of fuel and wear and tear on the engines. No engine can work at full throttle all the time without suffering damage.

Those of us in the workplace are no different. We have to reduce from full throttle to cruising in order to be our best. When we successfully achieve our own perfect cruising altitude, we can think, reason, and connect far better. We become great problem solvers and take on an air of cool and collected.

Next time you feel out of control, think about my jet plane analogy. Find the cruise and you will find the groove!

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