Living with a Sense of Urgency

For the second time in less than a week, a colleague noted that I live my life with a great sense of urgency.

Both times, I left feeling awkward and wondering what such a statement means. Is it good? bad? indifferent? Do I need to work on this? Should I believe living differently? Does this type of personality work in my current school district?

I’ve heard this my entire life. It has been a trademark that drives me and pushes me.

Yet, is it a desirable trait for a leader? Are there organizations that don’t have a sense of urgency and  have little need for someone that has such a philosophy about life?

There are some schools living with a deep sense of urgency because of mandates beyond their local control. There are some schools living without a sense of urgency because of past and current success.

Neither of these is a desired state, yes?

Here is the thing I keep thinking about. Are schools that are leaders and models living with a great sense of urgency because mediocrity and failure are not options, because current state and national measures of success are not enough, and because our children deserve it?

As the former NBA star Karl Malone said, “I just think we want to stay healthy, and I don’t think we think about a sense of urgency. We realize how old we are, we realize we’ve been playing this game for a long time, but you know what? We’re not done yet. ”

Have too many “leaders” lost the passion to continue playing the game? Have too many leaders grown content with staying healthy or living in a state of complacency?

(Image: 5 vor 12, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from adesigna’s photostream)

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