We are fascinated with the idea of time travel. We read about it in the 1895 book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells; we learned about the space-time continuum in Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1915; we watched the movie Back to the Future in 1985; and in 2014 an average of about 7 million people watched each episode of the BBC television classic Doctor Who.
Each of the stories, movies and television shows explores the possibilities of what could be accomplished if time travel was possible. I believe this is because ordinary people think of how to spend time, great people think of how to invest time.
“It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” – Steve Jobs
Doctor Who is the long running series on time travel that started in 1963 and ran until 1989. It returned to television and DVD in 2005 and has had a successful revival. The show is about a “Time Lord” known only as “The Doctor” who travels across time and space, in a vintage British Police Box, to protect innocent people and prevent evil forces from changing history.
The Doctor is serious about his mission, but to him time travel is as easy as going to work every day. “I can’t tell the future I just work there.” – Doctor Who
Whether or not you watch Doctor Who, or believe in the ability to cross the space-time continuum, you will read below that leaders have the power to use time travel to drive success for their teams.
LEADERS CAN MOVE THEIR TEAM FROM THE PRESENT TO THE FUTURE.
Sometimes your team isn’t ready right now for the success they desire today; they need to work and prepare for it.
Don’t just say, “Not now.” Encourage development. It’s difficult to hear you aren’t ready for your dreams. Leaders must encourage their team to dedicate themselves to get ready for their dreams not just wait.
“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” – John F. Kennedy
Don’t just say, “Not now.” Describe the vision. Sometimes people mistake where they are with the finish line. Remind your teams how big their dreams really are.
“Big flashy things have my name written all over them. Well…not yet, give me time and a crayon.” – Doctor Who
Don’t just say, “Not now.” Deliver the plan. Leaders see the dream clearer than anyone. Layout the steps it will take to reach it, so your team knows where to do.
“If you want to encourage individual growth, try to never say “No” but instead answer with “Yes if…” – Denis G. McLaughlin
LEADERS CAN MOVE THEIR TEAM FROM THE FUTURE TO THE PRESENT.
Sometimes your team is ready right now for the success they desire in the future; they need to move and achieve it.
Don’t let them wait. Encourage action. There are always reasons why someone might think they can’t achieve their dreams today. If you get those reasons out in the open you can remove them as obstacles one by one.
I once heard of a conversation between two employees that went like this:
“When are you going to finish that project?”
“When I get around to it,”
“I will get you one if it will help you finish this project.”
“Get me one what?”
Don’t let them wait. Enable the vision. Some people think they aren’t up for the challenge of achieving their dreams; they need more time. Remind them of all they have accomplished already and enable them to accomplish even more.
“Some people live more in twenty year than others do in eighty. It’s not the time that matters, it’s the person.” – Doctor Who
Don’t let them wait. Adjust the plan. Roadblocks come in every situation, some even pop up right after you start the journey to your dreams. Help your team achieve success by showing them how to go around, over, or through their challenges to keep moving forward.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”- Napoleon Hill