19. The Law of Timing

The Law of Timing: When to Lead is as Important as What to do and Where to Go

This should be a very exciting chapter to explore considering I’m wrestling with timing issues in my life. Am I too young? Am I overly ambitious? Am I underprepared? Are there others more equipped to serve right now? Am I overcommiting myself? Is this where I need to be? What can I do while I wait for a door to open? So, I’m excited.

We are first introduced to the poorly timed leadership of those in positions of power in NOLA during Hurricane Katrina. Supposedly, they didn’t act in a timely manner and that led to all sorts of chaos and misfortune. Then, leaders at all levels of government also took their time to get the people the safety and provision that they needed- 6 days after Katrina hit! That’s crazy! Imagine being straneded on your roof for 6 days! Almost 2000 people died! And a large portion of those lives could’ve been saved by more swift and proactive measures on the part of the leadership. That makes me sad. 😦

Every time a leader makes a move, there are really only four outcomes:

  1. The wrong action at the wrong time leads to disaster.
  2. The right action at the wrong time brings resistance. Good leadership timing requires many things.
    1. Understanding- leaders must have a firm grasp on the situation
    2. Maturity
    3. Confidence- leaders must know what must be done
    4. Decisiveness
    5. Experience- if leaders don’t possess experience, then they need to gain wisdom from others who do posses it.
    6. Intuition- timing often depends on intangibles, such as momentum and morale.
    7. Preparation- leaders must create ideal conditions
  3. The wrong action at the right time is a mistake.- People who are naturally entrepreneurial often possess a strong sense of timing. They intuitively know when it’s time to make a move- to seize an oportunity. They sometimes make mistaskes in their actions at those key moments.
  4. The right action at the right time results in success. – Success almost becomes inevitable.

There comes a special moment in everyone’s life, a moment for which that person was born. That special opportunity, when he seizes it, will fulfill his mission- a mission for which he is uniquely qualified. In that moment, he finds greatness. It is his finest hour.. p. 239

If a leader repeatedly shows poor judgment, even in little things, people start to think that having him as the leader is the real mistake. p. 237


  1. “It has been said that managers do things right while leaders do the right things. The Law of Timing says that leaders do more than that: they do the right things at the right time. ” I could get better at my timing, both in being persistent and taking action and also while slowing things down a bit. I’ve learned how to slow things down, but I also have to make sure I proactively pursue the proper timing for actions related to business and personal matters, especially if those actions need to happen sooner than later. More specifically, now is the time for me to build a lot of momentum while my lady is away and while I have inertia. Now is the time for me to be honest with myself and to make the necessary sacrifices both with PRI and ROI to build for the summer. Now is the time!
  2. I don’t think I necessary have any failed initiatives for my organzation. I still need to make sure I lead by example and continue to encourage people to pursue their goals. The key is to specifically document goals and to hold folks accountable. I have failed in personal life in media editing and extracurricular leadership development.
  3. These questions are game changers:
    1. Understanding- Do you have a firm grasp on the situation?
    2. Maturity- Are your motives right?
    3. Confidence- Do you believe in what you are doing?
    4. Decisiveness- Can you initiate action with confidence and win people’s trust?
    5. Experience- Have you drawn upon wisdom from others to inform your strategy?
    6. Intuition- Have you taken into account intangibles such as momentum and morale?
    7. Preparation- Have you done everything you must to set up your team for sucess?

The answer to these questions is that I can do better in all of them. I may need to print this and review this today!.

Remember, only the right action at the right time will bring success to your team, department, or organization. p. 243


About Ernest Levert Jr.

Aspiring Servant-Leader studying engineering principles, financial stewardship, business management, and psychology fundamentals in order to cultivate passionate leadership, disseminate positive energy, uplift the community and ultimately create a brighter future for generations to come.
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