Emphasized at my mastermind meeting two weeks ago:
The most successful people have a sense of urgency.
I believed this to be true when I heard it, and then I started researching what “a sense of urgency” really means.
It sounds frantic. It sounds like we should be moving quickly and acting immediately on ideas.
Coincidentally, the phrase “Hurry Hurry” is a signal shouted by quarterback Peyton Manning before the ball is hiked. (Forgive me if I play favorites before the big game on Sunday.)
“Hurry Hurry” has been embraced by the Super Bowl-bound Denver Broncos’ nation, which includes me. It’s been painted on signs, emblazoned on T-shirts, made into ringtones, and dissected in newspapers.
It must be kismet, I thought, that “sense of urgency” and “hurry hurry” entered my consciousness simultaneously. I couldn’t resist tying football into an art biz article.
It’s Not Really About Hurrying
When I read more about a sense of urgency as it relates to business, I discovered that it’s not necessarily about hurrying.
John Kotter, who wrote the book A Sense of Urgency, says:
True urgency focuses on critical issues. It is driven by the deep determination to win, not anxiety about losing. Many people confuse it with false urgency. This misguided sense of urgency does have energized action, but it has a frantic aspect to it with people driven by anxiety and fear. This dysfunctional orientation prevents people from exploiting opportunities and addressing real issues.
Michael McKinney of LeadershipNow puts it this way:
True urgency is . . . understood by the head (intellectually) but driven by the heart (emotions).
It is externally focused and expressed in daily behaviors that move relentlessly toward the target, ever alert to changing conditions and weeding out superfluous activity.
Michael Hyatt gets to the point:
Cultivating a sense of urgency is all about producing results.
He explains that it’s not about the tasks or how you get there. It’s about staying focused on the desired outcome.
4 Ways to Create a Sense of Urgency for Your Art Biz
1. Understand why you do what you do.
This isn’t always evident, but it will change the way you work. Your art will no longer be just about you, but about the connections you make with the rest of the world.
2. Take action.
Don’t spend too much time looking for the best technology or game-changing answers. Just do the work.
3. Build on momentum.
Successful people are constantly improving and innovating. They never think they’ve gotten to the top.
Yes, you need a little rest thrown in, but you must also build on your successes before people forget about them.
4. Try speeding things up.
I know I said it wasn’t about hurrying, but there has to be a little speed on the trajectory to success. Write shorter emails (Please!), respond faster to inquiries, and simplify your environment.
What does “sense of urgency” mean to you? How are you applying it each day?