BSRIOFW – Be Slow Right Instead of Fast Wrong

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”

~ Chinese Proverb


BSRIOFW – Be Slow Right Instead of Fast Wrong

By Owen Allen

Be Slow Right Instead of Fast Wrong (BSRIOFW). This motto is a bitter pill for some leaders to swallow. Many of us are impatient, even if we don’t realize we’re impatient. But the logic of the motto is inescapable. When is it ever “right” to be wrong – no matter how fast we do it? Likewise, when is it ever “wrong” to be right – no matter how slow we do it?

Of course, none of us wants to be slow, so what we really want is to be fast right. But let’s face our challenge logically. If we invest more time on the front-end of tasks by defining fuzzy words, clarifying smoke-screen sentences, and setting high and low standards for our work, we’ll automatically spend less time on the back-end of tasks reworking defects, repairing damage, fighting law suits, and soothing hurt feelings (p. 157-158).

From: Allen, O. (2012). Preactive leadership: three actions that can double your leadership ability in one week – whether you’re leading a corporation, civic club, church, government agency, family or yourself. Denver: Management House Books.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call To Action

Do you agree with Allen that it’s better to be “slow right” than “fast wrong”? What strategies help you be “fast right”? How will you bring this concept to your company/team this week? Share with us below.