Counterintuitive Momentum

Pardon me while the marketing geek in me emerges for a moment…

I was intrigued to watch how the release of Justin Timberlake’s new single would play out.  It’s been over six years since his last music release.  With just a short, but very compelling video teaser to get our attention, thousands including myself counted down the hours to when his new song would be available.

24 hours later 400,000 downloads were sold!

Okay, so this really isn’t about JT… whether you like him or his new single.

This about what we can learn from him.  There are several things that fascinate me about this process that I think we can learn from as leaders:

1)   Purposeful Pauses.  It’s been six years since Justin released any music.  Most experts would consider that career suicide in today’s market.  Bound by the tyranny of the urgent, every one of us is afraid to lose a precious moment of productivity.  We’re terrified of losing momentum and in doing so we can miss the opportunities where a purposeful pause actually reengages the flywheel.

2)  Patience.  I don’t know the reasons why Justin took such a long pause.  But he found a way to be patient and allow his creativity to flourish in time.  He didn’t force his giftedness to endlessly produce.  He also forced us to be patient.  Patience is a lost art.

3)  Anticipation.  Justin gave us the gift of anticipation.  He gave us something to look forward to.  Once again in our “I need it now” culture, we’ve lost the joy that comes with anticipation.  It’s exciting to look forward to something new.

In your organization, where can you be more aware of purposeful pauses, patience and anticipation? 

We often negate these things for fear of losing momentum but where might they actually build more steam?


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