7 Ways to Spot a True Sense of Urgency

By MaryEllen Tribby

Whether it’s sports, business, or family life, when I do something, I give it my all. I figure if I am going to invest my time and attention in something, then that something must be important. Otherwise, why do it at all? And I make it a point to surround myself with people who feel and live the same way.

Seems so obvious… Yet 90% of people walk through life like zombies just hoping to make it through the day with as little effort as possible.

Always hoping for a different outcome while maintaining the mindset that they deserve better.

These are the people who, when left in any position within an organization, can single-handedly destroy morale, consume mounds of energy, and obliterate profits!

They are called Complacency Campaigners or CCs. Many business owners and managers underestimate their power to ruin a business. They are full of excuses. And the drama is endless.

Complacency Campaigners can be anyone. They have no requirements or application policy; they come in all shapes and sizes. They are disguised as CEOs, Marketing Managers, Mail-room Clerks, and Sales Representatives. And they thrive on recruiting more than James Jones and the most sophisticated MLMers.

So why are they so prevalent?

Although complacency is pervasive, smart, experienced and refined, people do not always see it. They may mistake activity for productivity and franticness for urgency. And because CCs are skilled at shuffling papers and drumming up “emergencies,” it’s easy to overlook the fact that they are actually doing nothing.

But when you as a business owner, entrepreneur, or manager recognize this business cancer and do not take a stand against these CCs, you are as guilty as they are.

Door Number One or Door Number Two

When you decide to take a stand you have two choices. You can either let the CC go… or you can coach him and turn him into a valuable team member.

Truth be told, option number two is tough. Tough because very often the CC had a supervisor who let the problem go on way too long – either at your organization or at a prior company. The CC’s complacency may be too thoroughly ingrained for him or her to change.

However, it is possible to turn a CC into a valued member of your team. And I will admit, I always try that first even though there is only about a 25% chance that the infamous CC stays on board.

But when their “ah ha” moment strikes, you know the effort was worth it.  You can see the transformation from hypnotic complacency into a true sense of urgency.

You can recognize those who really get it. They have the following traits:

7 Ways to Spot a True Sense of Urgency

1) A Winning Team: With a strong sense of urgency, people quickly identify critical issues and form strong teams that are committed to ambitious change even when those members are already working hard.

2) Vision and Strategies: Strong and committed teams organize the effort to find smart strategies and envision long-term outcomes when dealing with essential issues, even when the best strategies are hard to pin down.

3) Communication: High urgency teams inherently feel a need to persistently communicate the vision and strategies to the appropriate people to get them on board and generate still more urgency.

4) Empowerment: Those with a strong sense of urgency empower others who are dedicated to making a vision a reality by removing obstruction in their path.

5) Short-Term Wins: High urgency teams celebrate short-term victories and make them visible to the entire organization.

6) Never Give Up: After minor and/or great success, teams with a true sense of urgency never let their team slip back to complacent inertia. Instead they expand the effort and strive for improvement.

7) Making It Stick: Teams with a true sense of urgency feel duty-bound to find ways to make sure any change sticks by incorporating that change into the structure, the systems, and most importantly,  the culture.

Here is the truly amazing thing: Working with a sense of urgency actually requires less energy than complacency. And the rewards are ten-fold.

MaryEllen About MaryEllen

MaryEllen Tribby has helped thousands of people start a new business or grow their existing ones. MaryEllen is the Founder and CEO of WorkingMomsOnly.com, the world’s leading newsletter and website for the empowerment of the working mom. Prior to founding WMO, MaryEllen was Publisher & CEO of Early to Rise and President of Weiss Research where she added millions to their bottom lines in just a few months. She also ran divisions at Forbes, Times Mirror Magazines, and Crain’s New York Business. MaryEllen is the best-selling author of Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning Your Dream Business into a Reality and co-author (with Michael Masterson) of Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions For Your Business.