Are You a FAST Leader?

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International leadership guru Gordon Tredgold coined the term FAST for his book by the same name and his teaching on effective leadership.

FAST is an acronym that encompasses all the best attributes for finding success. Whether your dreams are personal or professional, FAST can help.

Let’s unpack this powerful meaning.

F is for FOCUS. You must be able to focus your vision and view of the goal you are trying to achieve. Too many business leaders are fuzzy on the exact expectation they have.

If you’re not clear on where you’re going most any road will get you there.

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First, check to make sure that the goal(s) are clear, that they are aligned with the overall objective, and that they are going to deliver the right results.

A is for ACCOUNTABILITY. You must be accountable to the team, the cause and the process to get you to your goal.

Look at the organizational setup. Does everyone know what they are supposed to be doing, do they know what is expected of them, and do they have the right skills, tools, and training to be successful.

S is for SIMPLICITY. You must find the simplest of ways to make things happen.

It has been said complexity is the enemy of execution. Trying to reach a desired destination with too many complex and conflicting pieces of information or procedure can only interrupt the desired results.

In the military we used the KISS principle, which most of you know: “Keep It Simple Stupid.”

Review the approach. Ask yourself if the solution is the simplest available. Is it easy to understand, and is it believable? Teams become inspired when they have plans they believe in. When we over complicate things, it leads to doubt, hesitation and often failure.

T is for TRANSPARENCY. Transparency allows the leader to be genuine and clear for the benefit of everyone around.

Look at the progress tracking. How easy is it to check that progress is being made and was outcome-based rather than just recording effort spent? Is the information accurate and fact-based, or just based on gut feel? How often is it shared with the teams? Do they know how they are doing, or are they just running blind?

Does It Work?

Gordon tells the story of deciding at age 52 to start running marathons. He wasn’t in very good shape. Friends told him he was foolish. They asked how he expected to get that done.

He applied FAST. The focus was running a marathon. The simple part for getting there was to run 15 minutes every day for the first week. Then run 20 the next week, 25 the week after, and so on.

Did it work? Well, I’d say yes. He’s now run 10 marathons.

FAST can be applied to your own leadership toolkit. Regardless of the size of your organization or the scope of your budget, FAST can energize and propel your way to success on a consistent and reliable way.

Question: In what ways can you adjust your leadership to follow the FAST method for success?

Get Gordon Tredgold’s book here:

FAST: 4 Principles Every Business Needs to Achieve Success and Drive Results