When we are stuck on the treadmill of the urgent, we are in response, or reactive mode. By definition, reacting to issues means that we are only focused on what is immediately in front of us. This is problematic as most issues are actually symptoms of a greater problem.
Let’s look at some common leadership issues from different sectors:
An urgent approach to leadership focuses us on these issues, but they are all actually symptoms of an underlying problem. An urgent leader may successfully treat the symptom, but it will return again because the underlying problem still exists. This results in a game of Whac-A-Mole in which the leader endlessly cycles through addressing the same issues over and over again as they remerge.
Treating symptoms has a particularly insidious side effect. Usually, we are able to make symptoms go away with enough attention, so it feels like we have achieved something. This encourages us to continue the same patterns of behavior, even when previous symptoms remerge. This is the epitome of being on the treadmill - we take step after step, feeling like we are moving, but we are getting nowhere.
Do you have any issues that continually reoccur? Maybe the issue is a symptom of something else.
Do good and be well,