Sometimes being tight is a good thing. Tighter relationships with your athletes and coaches, tighter systems that are more focused, and tighter staffs that collaborate.
However, tighter is not always better. For example, the tighter the muscle, the more likely it is to get injured. The tighter the rubber band, the more likely it is to snap. In order to thrive, a lot of people need to actually focus on becoming looser.
I had the privilege of talking to a prominent CEO last weekend, and we had a good conversation about stress management. He was discussing how he operated under high stress almost every day for the first 5 years of owning the company. He was trying to run a tight system that would allow him to have his hands in everything. He was always worried about what his investors thought of the companies projections, if his staff liked him, and if his customers were satisfied. All of these worries weighed so heavily on him that he came close to burning out. As the CEO and creator of his company, he could not afford to let that happen. He had to change something. When I asked him what he changed, he said, “I loosened up. I realized that the looser you are, the faster you move”.
As soon as he “loosened up”, he saw instant results. He delegated more and let his staff operate independently. He realized that not all customers will be fully satisfied, and he could easily fix any issues customers had. He changed his tone with his investors to be more open and honest, not idealistic. His looser attitude allowed for more creative thinking, more progress, and more peace of mind.
Being looser allows you to open up your mind, expand your thinking, and look at things from a broader view. Looser allows relationships to grow because you are not stressed about them. Looser permits staffs to collaborate by creating an open environment that encourages new ideas. Looser decreases stress, which enhances peace of mind and clear thinking. If you want to progress faster, loosen up.