How to Act Quickly Without Sacrificing Critical Thinking
It is essential that leaders have reflective urgency — the ability to bring conscious, rapid reflection to the priorities of the moment. Before each conversation or meeting, decision makers should consider two questions: "What impact do I want to have on my team right now?" and "When I walk out of the room, what words do I want them to use to describe my influence?" This reflective mindset can help identify unproductive ways of thinking. One such problem that must be overcome is the unconscious tendency to focus on less important work, because we either enjoy it or are good at it, at the expense of higher priorities. To this end, implement a quick reality test during pivotal moments that involves filling in the blanks to complete the sentence: "I'm tempted to work on ____. But I know I should focus on ____."

Finally, it is necessary for leaders to avoid "extreme tilts." In an ideal world, the best of us would fluidly pivot from reflection to action. But that's not the world we live in. Recognize that not every issue requires the same approach. Depending on the situation, you can consciously, and subtly, dial up or turn down the required elements of reflection and urgency. The article's author, a director in PwC's Leadership Coaching Center of Excellence, concludes, "When you combine these micro-reflections with a heightened sense of urgency, your decisiveness and speed to impact will not be at the mercy of the counterproductive habits and unconscious oversights that occur when you act without your best thinking."
Harvard Business Review (04/27/17) Sostrin, Jesse
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