Two lane or four lane? The difference has become a game changer on my drive to work each day. You see we have a road we use each day going to work or the store, and it has always been a two-lane road. However recently the DOT has transitioned the road into a 4-lane. Before the road expansion you had people going all sorts of speeds stuck together in one lane. People who wanted to go fast felt like they were running behind, and people who wanted a leisurely drive felt rushed. Now people that want to go fast can get in that left lane and zoom while people who want to take their time can enjoy the right lane.

Similar to the varying speeds on the road there are different speeds when it comes to teams. Navigating these different speeds takes leadership skill because there is a tension between two positive extremes. On any team you have the speed of relationship and the speed of productivity.

The Speed of Relationship – where connection’s soar and result’s slow. Traveling at the speed of relationship is like driving in the right lane; you enjoy time engaging with those around you without a sense of urgency to get where you need to go. Connections with your team soar when traveling at the speed of relationship because they are treated as most important. The speed of relationship says, “everything can pause while we take time to talk.” Results slow at the speed of relationship because we are taking time to value the individual over anything else.

The Speed of Relationship sits in tension with the Speed of Productivity

The Speed of Productivity – where result’s soar and connection’s slow. Traveling at the speed of productivity is a result’s driven mindset. You show up ready to accomplish something and people take a back seat. Traveling at the speed of productivity drives results higher while sacrificing relational connectivity. The speed of productivity says, “I showed up to get something done…let’s get to it!” People can travel at this productivity speed while serving shoulder to shoulder with others yet experience no relational warmth as they focus on accomplishing tasks or responsibilities.

These two speeds sit in tension with one another because one is not better than the other. Much like a road trip for vacation there are roads where you go fast and there are roads where you go slow. Working on a team means managing the tension of these two extreme speeds.

If you are more of a results-driven person take time to slow down this week to the speed of relationship and allow yourself to build stronger connections with the team.

If you are more of a relationship-driven person be intentional to direct your attention this week to the speed of production and allow yourself to accomplish something great.