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I am a business and professional practice development specialist –many years, thousands of problems, projects, and people– proof beyond the shadow of a doubt that life and leadership success catapult out of having a highly defined sense of TIMING. Period. Yes, PASSION and ATTITUDE. Yes, INTEGRITY. But without TIMING, there’s no success! None.

This doesn’t mean running around like a headless chicken trying to squeeze twenty-five hours out of every day. It means having enough experience, instinct and sense of direction to know exactly when it’s the right time to say and do, when it’s the right time to back off, when it’s the right time to charge forward, and the right time to take steady steps toward target goals.

Think baseball here, imagine you have the world’s greatest bat swing. But if your bat is too early or too late or at the wrong height to meet the pitch, it means nothing. Wrong words–even right words–at the wrong times cost sales, cost relationships, cost court cases, cost lives. The best, most well-intentioned offers and behaviors made at the wrong times can spell disaster.

So doing and saying the right things may get us through life and look like leadership to others, but if the timing is off, even the best words and behaviors will not produce success. The world’s most successful leaders are those who possess a keenly developed sense of timing–knowing WHEN to speak and WHEN to listen, knowing WHEN to act and WHEN to wait.

Okay, so how do we develop this skill, this sense of awareness about WHEN to do and WHEN to say? Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any quick-fix approach beyond practice, practice, practice. But being aware of the distinctions between having a full arsenal of life and leadership tools, and knowing when to use them, is half the battle.

The thing is are we truly serious about making a difference with our lives? Are we truly serious about building a track-record for effective leadership that teaches by example and that rallies and inspires others to get things done? Then we need to be realistic enough to recognize that gaining the skills and tools is like getting great medical training. It just sets the stage.

Knowing how to say and use what we have at the time that it’s needed to be said and used is what separates leaders from followers. It is what separates those whose lives make a difference, from those who plod aimlessly along the path of least resistance and accomplish little of value in their families, friend and spiritual circles, or the communities they draw from.

Is it time to reassess where we’re headed, and to 

work harder at cultivating our sense of timing?

Good timing is not an accident.   


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Hal@TheWriterWorks.com or comment below.

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