FAST Leadership is an approach to leadership that I have started to develop, it’s based on my key Leadership Principles of Simplicity, Transparency and Focus.
Simplicity is about understanding how we are going to be able to achieve our goals, it’s the How. The simpler the How is to understand, the higher the probability that we will be able to communicate and explain the approach to our teams, and the better they understanding the higher our chances of success.
Simplicity doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do, it’s just means that we clearly understand and can explain the approach. I can tell you very simply how to train for a marathon. Start by running 15 minutes a day 5 times a week, increase the amount of time you run by 5 minutes each week and within a year you will probably be able to run a marathon.
Easy to understand, but it still requires you to get out and run 5 days per week, it still requires you to run over 1000km in training, and then run 42km in the race.
Transparency is about being honest about our performance, where we are and why we are doing things. If we can be transparent, then it will allow us to better plan and know what we have to do in order to be successful, it will show us where we are on the path, and more importantly it will give us the Why.
When we know Why we are doing something or Why we want our teams to do that then we can communicate to them our reasons, and hope to inspire them and give them a sense of purpose.
When I ran my marathon I was doing it because I wanted to help my friends who were going through chemotherapy, I wanted to help. This was a very powerful WHY, and it was this that got me out running on those cold mornings when I would have much rather stayed in my warm bed.
Focus is all about understanding the WHAT, what is our goal, what does success look like, and then focusing on what needs to be done to achieve that. Too often we get sidetracked with irrelevant issues that deflect our attention from whats important, and what we need to get done in order to achieve our goal.
If we we cannot define success, if we don’t know what success looks like, then how can we communicate it to our teams. When I ran the Marathon I had a simple goal, cross the finishing line, and cross it healthy.
This allowed me to focus on what was most important which was endurance, not speed, I didn’t need to waste anytime trying to improve my time, I just needed to Focus on being able to run 42km in the allotted time. Nothing more, nothing less. Cross the line, cross it healthy.
So how did I get from Simplicity, Transparency and Focus to FAST.
Well I was discussing my three principles with a friend, and he said I really like it, it’s clear and simple, but I think your missing something, I said what, and he said Accountability.
I said Accountability it goes without saying, without accountability you cannot achieve anything. You need to know Who is going to be doing the What and you need to be able to hold them, or yourself accountable to deliver.
He said yes but if you include Accountability, then you have FAST.
F – Focus, A – Accountability, S – Simplicity and T – Transparency!
So now I am working on developing FAST Leadership.
Watch this space 😉