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Rob Adair



One of my dream dinners would be an evening with John Kotter and Patrick Lencioni, two of my favorite business authors. Four years ago, I read John Kotters book titled "A Sense of Urgency." It should be mandatory reading for all of us in management. You should buy it and read it twice!

Long before I read Johns book, I remember wondering more than once, Is anyone around here urgent about anything? Then John helped me learn to lead urgently. Creating a sense of urgency from as large a group of people as possible is no easy task, but when accomplished, it escalates productivity like nothing else can. The key is to try to accomplish something really important every day. We must focus on the critical issues, not our over-stuffed agendas.

Urgency is a deep determination to win. Its the opposite from anxiety over losing. Urgent behavior is fast-moving, always eliminating irrelevant activities. Urgency is a powerful asset all the time. Urgent people act now! Urgent leaders never let complacency exist in their organizations. You must understand that complacency is your enemy. Im not talking about frantic activity. Thats not urgency. Bosses who scream, Execute! build nothing and can actually destroy much. Urgency eliminates the blame game.

Truly urgent people dont spend time trying to protect themselves. People who dont feel we really have a problem, people who dont see a need for a change in action, people who are comfortable with the status quo, people who dont look for new opportunities, dont initiate and dont lead are the problem!

Interestingly, most complacency and arrogance can be traced to past successes. Success can easily cause people to deny new problems exist. Urgent people deal with problems now! Urgent leaders never allow a meeting to take place without decisions being made. Urgent people are constantly launching new activities and urgent leaders dont allow non-believers to be on their team. Urgent leaders focus on execution, are visibly urgent, and they match their words with their deeds. Ask yourself, Is there a sense of urgency in my organization?

Thank you, John Kotter, for opening my eyes to the importance of leading urgency.

Rob Adair is the President of Pinnacle Solving. His company provides revenue growth solutions, branding and differentiation strategies to radio and other industries. Adair is a former radio industry COO and Sr. VP overseeing 25+ stations and multiple major markets. He can be reached at 405-641-0458 or by e-mail

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