Sometimes our best work can be accomplished in crunch time. It’s nothing more than a pressure filled opportunity to do something great! Crunch time separates ordinary people from extraordinary ones.
Ninety-four weeks ago I wrote the first Leadership and Main post. After years of staring at a vision that was going nowhere, it was time to buckle down and start writing. Since then, every Monday morning at 7:15 a.m., the subscriber email has gone out on time, without missing a single Monday.
Confession of Leader
Generally, I have a topic formulated, written the post, edited it, and scheduled all social media posts by 10:00 p.m. the Sunday before the release. Well, that is not the case this week! After a long day at the ballpark with the 13U Acworth Warrior Baseball Academy team I help coach, here I am, starting to write when I should be finished.
There are a lot of things that run through my head on a night like this. One, I definitely should have planned better and knocked it out earlier in the week. Two, maybe once a week was too much of a commitment. Three, I can just cheat and recycle one from an earlier post, no one would notice.
Unfortunately, I’m not wired that way. My nature is to make every effort to fulfill my commitments. So…this week I write in crunch time. With that said, here are three things we can do in crunch time as a leader:
I have a target word count of 1,100 to 1,300 words per post. That is out the window this week (landed at a little over 800)! I usually review the post multiple times while rephrasing, rewording, and wrestling with intentionality of every word. In this case and given the circumstances, this post will be simplified.
Leaders who attempt to seek complexity in crunch time will fail, period. The wheels of progress will spin and no forward motion is generated.
Things move fast when we are under the gun. The best way to slow things down is to simplify them. Weed out the unnecessary and focus on the necessary. When you simplify things in the midst of chaos, you get Unstuck and gain traction to move forward.
I consider myself a pretty methodical person and so do most behavior assessments that I have taken. My natural tendency is to be cautious, careful, and planned. I generally spend about three, sometimes even four hours writing a single post (tonight took an hour). I try to be extremely intentional with the use of every single word to deliver something of value to the reader. Intentionality requires time, time that I do not have tonight! So, I chose to be decisive, picked a direction and ran with the topic.
Had a friend once tell me I was a “ready, aim, fire” type of personality and he was a “fire, aim, ready one!” When things get tight, sometimes we just have to fire and worry about the consequences later. When crunch time bears down on us, we must be decisive as leaders. It may come natural to you, or it may not like me, but there is no time for wishy washy in crunch time. Be decisive.
I genuinely want to see people get better. When people subscribe or follow the blog on social media, I feel committed to them to come through every week. There is an ulterior motive as well. Another purpose of this blog is to leave behind a written legacy that my children and future generations of Albright’s can look back on and find out more about who I aspired to be as a person and a leader. For both reasons given, I felt the need to come through tonight.
Leadership is not for the faint of heart. All eyes turn our direction when the pressure builds. When crunch time hits, great leaders come through. Time and time again, leaders rise to the occasion when things get tough. When ordinary people fold to the pressure, leaders deliver on their commitment. There is no other option deep within the heart of a leader. Leaders come through.
I am passionate about leadership. History’s greatest leaders emerged during times of crisis that demanded quality leadership. Their performance in crunch time set them apart from those the history books never wrote about.
I don’t know about you, but it feels like crunch time comes a little more frequently these days than I would like it to. Take the normal burdens of a leader, pile on a pandemic, supply chain shortages, inflation, and compounded by one of the craziest labor markets of our generation and it is enough to break the strongest of spirits. Crunch time comes at us daily.
How we respond in crunch time sets the tone for our organization and the people we lead. That response is what defines us as a leader. When crunch time hits…simplify, decide, and come through. We got this!