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Graci Leadership Solutions Blog

  • Writer's pictureGraci Leadership

Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast!



During your workday, do you feel stressed? Burned out? Not enough hours in the day? Do you find yourself missing deadlines or working overtime? Experiencing a high turnover rate? Have you seen a decrease in the quality of your work?


If so, you are likely working too fast!


In today's fast-paced world, it can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly rushing to meet deadlines and multitasking. "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" is a military term. It has several definitions/interpretations:

  • It means working ON the system, not just IN the system.

  • It's stepping out of the hamster wheel and questioning why we are doing this. Is there a better way?

  • It means preventing fires vs. running from fire to fire.

  • It means practicing a new skill/technique/tactic until you can make it smooth, then practice some more until you can make it fast.


Management consultant Peter Drucker once said, "The overall performance of the company is nothing more, nothing less, based on the individual performance of its employees."


When I was 16 years old, I helped my neighbor in his construction company. Hoping to impress my neighbor, I'd quickly take measurements and run to the saw to make the cuts. Typically, the cuts were off; I wasted both time and resources. For the first time, I heard the expression, "Measure twice, cut once."


At its core, "Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" is not about rushing and doing the wrong things. It's about the power of strategic thinking and then acting. When we take the time to slow down and think through the steps of what we are doing, we challenge our own assumptions. We don't act on our first idea. Thus, we will make better decisions, improving efficiency and execution.


Thinking through a task has several benefits, including:

  • Improved quality

  • Increased creativity

  • Reduced stress

  • Increased focus

  • Better planning

  • Improved safety

  • Better workplace relationships

Management consultant Peter Drucker also said, "Every three years, every product, process, and activity should be put on trial for life; otherwise, your competition will do it on your behalf."

Temporarily working slower is not about being lazy or unproductive but finding a balance between getting things done more effectively and avoiding burnout.


"Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast" sounds great in theory, right? My newest hands-on presentation focuses on working through the roadblocks employees will face to improve their performance so a team member and organization can reap the benefits of being smooth.


I welcome your email or phone call (612-708-1939) to learn more about my newest presentation!

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