Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast

“If we move too fast, we’ll break things. If we move too slow, we’ll miss things. And if we don’t move at all, we won’t see things for how beautiful they are.”
-R.M. Drake

Last week, I talked about embracing the chaos and the power of a bit of wandering. It’s messy and hectic, but sometimes it’s needed to push us outside our comfort zone.  


When we slow things down and take time to think, how much more effective can we be? We can prioritize “the one thing” and appropriately plan, resource and think through the Courses of Action.

Thanks to a discussion with our team this morning, Sam Cubberley reminded us all, “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.”

Maybe you are a bit like me and have big visions and the spirit of an entrepreneur. Do you love helping people? Do you like solving big problems, creating new solutions, moving fast and making a big impact?

Maybe you aren’t like me.  

Maybe you look at a vision and shoot holes in it before it’s on paper. Or maybe you love a good idea but quickly jump into the excel sheet and scheduling software. Do you think through resourcing and the traps and trips, that will stand in the way of success?

Everyone’s perspective brings value to the success of a project.

Walt Disney wouldn’t have been successful if he didn’t have Roy watching the numbers and keeping him grounded. Steve Jobs wouldn’t have been as successful without Steve Wozniak.  

But no matter what energizes you or what style you gravitate to, progress, innovation and success depend on a balance. A balance of vision and delivery and ideas and implementation. The right mix of risk and reward, vision and execution, and ideation and activation are needed for any vision to take off.

And whether it’s internal projectsor a client’s project, our team was built to do just that – balance vision and implementation.  

mcfa is a team that can hear your problems, understand your mission, and DISCOVER your vision and purpose. We will partner with you and your team to NAVIGATE any project’s inherent technical, financial, and organizational hurdles.

So, what project or initiative do you need to slow down on? Need a team to help think it through? We can help.

Let’s Go, Phillies!

BJ Kraemer, President

Inspiring People & Places: Episode 59

Title: “Growing Your Soft Skills for a Successful Career with Anthony Fasano, PE at Engineering Management Institute

Episode Summary:

On today’s episode, BJ talks with Anthony Fasano, author of “Engineer Your Own Success” and founder of The Engineering Management Institute. Anthony discusses the day to day job and mission of The Engineering Management Institute, and the content machine they use to educate SEC professionals for free.

Find the Engineering Management Institute here.

Find Anthony on LinkedIn here.

Let us know what you think of today’s episode by messaging BJ on LinkedIn here.

Host: BJ Kraemer, MCFA

Special Guest: Anthony Fasano, Engineering Management Institute

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts.

Click here to listen on Spotify.

Click here to listen online.

Episode Resources:

Engineer Your Own Success by Anthony Fasano

A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport

Seth Godin books.

They Call Me the Wanderer

“Sometimes (often, actually) in business, you do know where you’re going, and when you do, you can be efficient. Put in place a plan and execute. In contrast, wandering in business is not efficient … but it’s also not random. It’s guided – by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and powered by a deep conviction that the prize for customers is big enough that it’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there. Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency. You need to employ both. The outsized discoveries – the “non-linear” ones – are highly likely to require wandering.”
-Jeff Bezos 

Have you ever walked through IKEA and imagined how organized your house, office, kitchen or life could be? Everything has its place, and every place has its thing – that calming sense of peace, stability and steadiness.

On the other hand, have you ever walked into your office and seen chaos? Stacks of paper scattered everywhere, unread books sitting out, and to-dos on post-it notes, business cards and napkins? Nothing is in its place, and you are overwhelmed by the never-ending “I gotta’s” (I gotta do this, I gotta do that), follow-ups and someday/maybe lists  

We recently moved into the office building next door. And between the boxes of admin and paperwork piling up and some delivery delays, it feels like the opposite of IKEA. This juxtaposition of a steady, organized future while dealing with the chaos in the moment.

The tension.

One of our team members has an infant at home. This week, he shared how his wife turned to him this past weekend and said, “I’m embracing the chaos.”

And then I read the quote by Jeff Bezos, “It’s worth being a little messy and tangential to find our way there. Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency.”

Ahhh. Embrace the chaos!  

We convince ourselves we live in an either/or world. Either messy or organized, leader or follower, student or teacher, dedicated or slacker. We have this dualistic way of thinking, labeling and categorizing.

But different seasons of life, stages of projects and phases of our leadership development require us to balance these dichotomies. Growth only happens outside of our comfort zone. Allow yourself to wander and be messy now and again. 

And remember, whatever phase you are in of life, leadership or love, embrace the peace or embrace the chaos. The grass is green where you water it.  

BJ Kraemer, President

P.S. – Speaking of wandering. If you are coming to SAME SBC in Nashville, why don’t you wander over to meet our team (and me) at Booth 546? We would love to meet you!