One of the earliest things we were taught when we were children, especially as we gained the ability to walk and go outside, was to Stop, Look, and then Go across the street. Do you remember being taught this childhood skill?
The crazy thing? Stop, look, go easily applies to our leadership. Too bad more of us don’t follow this simple practice.
You might know of someone who didn’t follow stop, look, go before crossing the street. There were times the person made it safely across the road. Then, there might have been a time when they didn’t.
I think back to elementary school and my friend Antwan.
Antwan lived 5 fives houses away. We’d go to school together, play video games, and have a good time. Then there was that day. The day he didn’t stop, look, and then go.
Rather, he just went across the road. And that was a bad mistake.
There was a terrible accident. Antwan was hit by a car that didn’t see him crossing the road. He wound up in the hospital for quite some time.
Your leadership could become wrecked in the same way. That’s why, even as leaders, it’s important to Stop, Look, and then Go.
Stop: While leading, you have to pause to get your bearings. Take a breather. Let off the gas. Gather your wits. And wait.
We all need a period of rest and focus. Don’t neglect this time.
Look: The next step is to look. You’ll want to spend some time looking.
Survey the land. See what obstacles may be in the way of your vision.
Only by looking will you see what’s coming at you and if it’s safe to proceed.
GO!: Once you’ve stopped and had a chance to look around at your current situation, it’s time to GO!
Like crossing the road, once you’ve assessed the path is clear, it’s time to go. If you wait too long, the opportunity to GO may pass you by.
Take action once you know you’ve got things as close to right as you can. Leaders take action and that’s where GO comes into play.