A True Sense of Urgency

Inspired by John Kotter in A Sense of Urgency (2008), read from the local library in March 2021. 4 stars on Goodreads.


What URGENCY is not:

  • Frantic wheel spinning
  • Constantly questioning
  • Complacency
  • Ambiguous
  • Only about data (mind)
  • Slow
  • Busy
  • Status quo
  • Anxious or angry

Versus what is TRULY URGENT:

  • Patient daily progress
  • Not anxious
  • Aimed at winning
  • Alert
  • Whole-hearted
  • Speedy
  • Clear my calendar
  • Alert, proactive, fast
  • Ready to move and win


Tactics to make a sense of urgency into a daily habit:

  1. Purge and delegate
  2. Move with speed
  3. Speak with passion
  4. Match words to deeds
  5. Let everyone see it

A true sense of urgency is about starting today; grab opportunities and avoid hazards, and shed low-priority activities to move faster and smarter, now.

John Kotter in A Sense of Urgency

Stuck? Go back to the reasons you started. Try a different angle. Keep moving, even with small wins, to generate momentum. Be opportunistic.

My take? True urgency means to stay alert, bring outside oxygen in, address both heads and hearts, and prioritize movement towards what matters most. Ready to move faster and smarter.

Published by

Lance Willett

My name is Lance, I am a blogger, product manager, software developer, and business executive creating high-quality, engaging, and customer-centered experiences for people online. México-born. Chief Product and Technology Officer at Tumblr (Automattic).

2 thoughts on “A True Sense of Urgency”

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