Are you an accelerator or a brake?

A car needs both an accelerator and a brake. Without an accelerator, you will never move forward, but without a brake, you will quickly find yourself out of control.

Similarly, organisations need to have access to both accelerators and brakes.

You are an accelerator when you’re making decisions, sharing ideas, developing new opportunities and encouraging and helping others to act. You are a brake when you are reviewing and assessing options, considering rather than making decisions, deferring actions, and limiting others’ ability to get things done.

Brakes are both critical and necessary, but most of the organisations I come across would benefit from more, not less acceleration. If you’re only a brake, you’re stopping your teams and your business from moving forward. You end up being a barrier to progress, rather than being an enabler of effective action.

Have a look at your in-tray and your diary: where are you acting as an accelerator and where are you acting as a brake? And, if you find that you’re predominantly a brake, how could you safely take your foot off that pedal and press a little harder on the gas?


Off The Record: I Drove All Night by Roy Orbison


This song, by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, was originally written for Roy Orbison but first became a hit for Cyndi Lauper in 1989.


I drove all night

To get to you

Is that all right?

I drove all night


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.