A Question of Timing


Quite often the difference between success and failure can be simply one of timing. If we go too early the business might not be ready, if we go too late, we could miss out on the opportunity.

As leaders we need to be masters of judging the time, we need to know when to strike and when to hold back.

This is not as easy as it sounds, sometimes what looks like good timing is just pure luck.

When we try something and fail, we need to examine whether or not what we tried to do was the right thing to do, but it was just the wrong timing. If this is the case then we don’t need to change our approach we just need to try the same again when the timing will be better for us.

We all have experience of using timing, remember when we ask dad for something during the big game, knowing he would agree because he was focused on the game and he just wanted to get back to it, or we would ask for money for the cinema on payday as we knew money was available.

These are the skills that we need to relearn and apply in our business lives.

If we have a project that needs to be done, but the business case is not that good, then apply for funding early in the financial year when it’s more likely that extra funds are available, don’t wait until year end when money may be running out and everyone is watching every penny.

We need to do everything we can to increase our probability of success, and timing is one element that often gets over looked, or too little attention paid to it.

As the photo accompanying this blog shows, the bear catches the fish because it knows exactly when the salmon will be coming up stream, for the rest of the time it would be stood with its mouth open starving. But because it gets the timing right the fish just jump right into its mouth.

Now that’s greta timing!

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles