In a few days, my colleagues and I will be releasing some research. It’s titled, What Makes Leaders Fly Fast, and summarizes results of a survey we did about critical actions high-level leaders can take to get started quickly in executive roles.

I’ll leave the survey summary to another post. For now, let’s look at a message that came through the sub-text of comments from over 80 leaders who responded to the survey. While it’s a commonly accepted belief that speed is the requirement for any new leader (witness Nancy Pelosi’s recent focus on the First 100 Hours!), a notable group of our respondents said something different: SLOW DOWN.

My first reaction to this comment was simple: OK, OK, I got it. What else though? Tell me because I’m in a hurry to hear what you think.

Then I realized that they were talking to me, not just incoming executives. Slow down. Now there’s a counter-cultural message. Take a breath. Listen. Learn. Don’t give in to the pressure to do something big right away. The focus on speed is nearly absurd. What now after we have the First 100 Hours? Will we soon have the First 100 Minutes or First 100 Seconds?

Of course, Normal Thinking says that we live in the internet era with instant everything. But after watching more than one leader implode under that crazy pressure, I wonder whether the road signs in England have better advice: Kill Your Speed.

What do you think? Have we OD’d on speed?