What a week it has been for the UK this week. In Rio, our GB Diving team are winning gold medals by twisting & turning in almost the blink of an eye. The precision and technical skill demonstrated by 2 individuals in under 5 seconds has got me and my whole family fully on-board with the Olympics. The diving competition in particular really demonstrates how 5 seconds can change the outcome for individuals, and indeed a whole nation.

But the paradox of the Rio Diving competition is that the results don’t really come from 5-seconds…the results come from days, months and years of hard graft; developing relationships; and honing the skills of a team of people into the output of an individual.

As leaders we can sometimes get stuck in the 5-seconds – making that important phone call; assessing the performance reports; reacting to an operational emergency…. and so on and so on. That 5-seconds does get results, but imagine if we viewed our business strategy as if we were an Olympic athlete – where would we spend our time then I wonder?

I believe we would slow down, to speed up. If we truly want our businesses to be operating at the top of their game we should never under-estimate the value of taking time out as leaders. Great teams are built around a shared purpose, vision and values – and that takes time…. So, even when I am basking in the UK heatwave over the next 2 weeks, I am making a commitment to my business to take 2-hours to ‘slow down, reflect and refresh’ so that I am ready to ‘speed up and GO!’

As leaders in your organisation, what are you going to do to ‘slow down to speed up’?