Ralph Waldo Emerson warned, “One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
In today’s fast-paced, competitive world, every day has to count. But there’s a distinction between speed and bravery. Organizations evolve the way nature evolves: Bad innovations die and good innovations survive. Bravery requires leaders and teams to take a chance on themselves and their ideas and being willing to watch them die if they don’t produce results.
Every improvement is the result of change, but not every change proves to be an improvement worth making. Your job as a leader is to find which changes are worth pursuing as quickly as possible. Milliken is a leading textile company committed to quality, innovation and change. They have a heritage of getting things done, but done right. Milliken’s Gazelle Award reinforces their bias for action. It was built on a lesson learned on the plains of Africa: “Gazelles are the second fastest animal and are capable of quick changes in direction. When a lion wakes up it has one mission, run faster than the slowest and weakest gazelle. When a gazelle wakes up it has one mission, run faster than the fastest lion. When either wakes up, they know one thing–they are going to be running!” That is good advice for all of today’s leaders and organizations. Make today count.