These days “we” want everything to happen quickly, not now but right now!! We would like for everything to operate in a similar manner to our microwaves, from cold to cooked in a manner of minutes. It reminds me of a skit from In Living Color. You remember the one, they were set up in a little hole in the wall diner, and the waitress would take the customer’s order and Tommy Davidson would prepare the order fast as all get out. The thing is, HE NEVER GOT THE ORDER RIGHT….EVER! Someone would say, “my name is rose” and he would make JELLO, “what’s your best dish” he would make fresh fish! As leaders on our campus and in our communities, it is imperative that we escape and combat this Tommy Davidson Effect or TDE frame of mind. When we hear what we want to here, not because we are not listening, but because we are too busy. Sometimes we are stretched thin working with 7 organizations and other times we are too busy being a leader to take the time to listen to someone not on the exec board. The TDE takes many forms but the results are always the same, lousy!
Greatness takes time, patience, and effort Heck forget greatness, just being good takes time, patience, and effort. When we rush our efforts, they often go awry. Failure is not the be all end all. However, when we fail as leaders it is not solely a personal disappointment but one for the group as well. It’s like watching the poll results come in on election night; everyone is happy until their candidate comes out and concedes the race. The people working on the campaign feel the disappointment just as bad as the losing candidate. When we rush through our events, meetings, and lives, we all but concede the race. The TDE can needlessly sap all the energy and motivation from you and your group. It’s strong enough to stop a movement.
How do we beat the TDE and stay on track? SLOW DOWN!! Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals, then don’t be afraid to adjust and reset as you go. One of the most important things a leader can do is take the time to listen to the people. Listen to the issues and concerns of the communities we are serving and address those issues as best as our ability and missions allow us to. Once we get the order right; our vision correct, we are more than halfway to our goals. Take time out this week to get the order right, listen to what the people want and conduct yourself accordingly.
Don’t let your leadership look like this: