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Episode #282 – The Core Value of Urgency in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #282 - The Core Value of Urgency in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

Caleb: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we’ll be talking about the core value of urgency in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I’m glad to be here with you today.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re continuing on series about core values, and today’s topic is not one that usually comes to mind when people talk about core values, is that right?

Stacy: That’s fair to say, but I believe this is a core value, so much so that it’s one of the core values of our Animal Health and Veterinary recruiting firm, The VET Recruiter. To reach your full potential in your Animal Health or Veterinary career, you must act with a sense of urgency.

Caleb: What does it mean to act with a sense of urgency?

Stacy: Great question Caleb.  So, acting with urgency means to act with focus and purpose. Acting with urgency is different than being panicked about something. When you panic, you don’t have a lot of focus or purpose. Your thinking is scattered and you’re going everywhere at once. But when you act with urgency, you’re thinking clearly and you know what it is you want to do.

There’s another aspect to acting with urgency, and that’s the element of time. When you act with urgency in terms of a situation or a task, you take action immediately or in a timely matter. You don’t wait or procrastinate. Instead, you respect time and you respect a deadline, especially if one has been placed on a project or assignment that you’ve been given.

Caleb: So, it’s the opposite of being lackadaisical?

Stacy: Yes, you could say that. It’s okay to have a laid back personality, but you don’t want to be so laid back that you don’t finish projects and miss deadlines. You can be laid back and still have a sense of urgency about your work.

Caleb: Why is operating with a sense of urgency so important, especially in the professional setting?

Stacy: It’s important because people who have a sense of urgency are usually good at solving problems, and that’s what organizations want—employees who can solve problems. A strong sense of urgency allows you to identify potential issues quickly, giving you an advantage in resolving them.

In a business context, to have a sense of urgency is to act promptly and with intention to make things happen efficiently and effectively. Having a sense of urgency means doing what needs to be done immediately, without being asked and in the most thorough way possible in order to create change.

Caleb: What happens when you don’t act with a sense of urgency?

Stacy: Things can “fall through the cracks.” You’re not able to notice potential problems until they become actual problems. But when you have a sense of urgency, you’re proactive instead of reactive. You’re proactively addressing issues and taking care of them before they become a problem. So, as you can see, there is a very practical side to urgency, especially within the professional setting, where problems can crop up seemingly without advanced notice.

Caleb: That makes sense. I have another question. Is personal branding a part of this, as well?

Stacy: Yes, it is, and thank you for bringing that up.

Having a sense of urgency can also help you to establish a positive personal brand. Being able to respond promptly and deliver solutions quickly is important for creating a positive reputation, which can help you grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: I know I’ve asked this about other core values that we’ve discussed, but is having a sense of urgency a skill?

Stacy: It’s not a skill, per se. It’s more of a mindset, but there are skills that result from having a sense of urgency.

Caleb: Which skills are those?

Stacy: Some examples of these skills are efficiency, the ability to adapt, meeting deadlines, and working well under pressure. These are all skills that can help a person excel within a team. Typically, people who have a sense of urgency also have the ability to work and play well with others.

Caleb: How do you develop a sense of urgency Stacy?

Stacy: Well, there are two ways to look at this: from the point of view of the individual and the point of view of the employer. An individual can instill in themselves a sense of urgency and an employer can help instill a sense of urgency in its employees.

Caleb: Are you able to speak to both, the individual and the employer?

Stacy: Yes, absolutely.

Caleb: Where would you like to start?

Stacy: Let’s start with the individual. There are multiple things that a person can do to develop a better sense of urgency. The first and most important step is to take time to think and plan.

Caleb: Wait, I thought having a sense of urgency meant taking action right away?

Stacy: It does. When I say think and plan, I mean with a big-picture perspective in mind. People who are prepared to handle a situation are better able to act with urgency when the situation calls for it. If you’re not prepared, then you might be “paralyzed” because you don’t know what to do. Highly productive people take the time to think, plan, and set priorities in advance. This allows them to take action quickly when they need to.

Caleb: What other steps do you have Stacy?

Stacy: The second step is becoming more alert and aware of what’s happening around you. When you’re more aware, you can pick up on things and react to them more quickly.

Caleb: I can see that. You can’t react to a situation and act with urgency unless you’re aware of what the situation is.

Stacy: Yes, that’s right. To have a sense of urgency and to act with urgency, you must have a heightened or sharpened sense of awareness.

The third step is to create a bias for action, which is just another way of saying that you must practice having a sense of urgency.

Caleb: What does that mean, exactly?

Stacy: You can practice not procrastinating when it comes to small tasks. Instead, attack them with a sense of urgency, even if there really is no urgency tied to them. This is the way to develop your “muscles of urgency” the same way that you would develop your regular muscles in the gym. You start slowly with small weights and then move up as you develop. It’s the same here. Start slowly with small tasks to develop a greater sense of urgency, until it becomes a habit that helps you grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Caleb: What about the employer side? What can organizations do to develop a sense of urgency within their company culture?

Stacy: There are multiple things that an employer can do, and all of these things are designed to build a culture of urgency before it’s required. When a situation arises in the workplace and requires a sense of urgency to find a solution, if the employees aren’t used to operating with a sense of urgency, that’s when panic can set in.

Caleb: And when you panic, you lose focus, is that right?

Stacy: Correct. This is why it’s important to build a culture of urgency at the outset, so that employees are equipped to adequately deal with situations and problems as they arise, in the moment.

The first step is to educate everyone on the rationale for urgency. This is critical because you need everyone’s “buy-in.” Employees must believe in the rationale and understand why it’s necessary for problem-solving in the workplace. Ideally, this should be presented within the framework of a team-first mentality, since many problems are solved through a collaborative effort and not the work of just one person.

The second step is for the members of management to model the behavior they want to see throughout the organization. This is important because if you don’t model certain behavior for your employees, then why would they engage in that behavior?

Caleb: Right. They’ll think, “If it’s that important, then why aren’t you doing it?”

Stacy: Exactly. It’s the same with respect and transparency. If an organization wants its culture to reflect respect and transparency, then the members of management must exhibit those things, as well. They must model the behaviors they want to see in their employees.

The third step is to empower your employees to deliver on what you expect from them. If you want them to act with urgency and solve problems, then you must provide them with the resources, the flexibility, and the freedom necessary to solve those problems. Having a sense of urgency is great, but it will still only take you so far. You must also have the resources you need to get the job done.

While having a sense of urgency is important for everyone, it’s especially important for those who work in sales or have a sales role.

Caleb: Why is that?

Stacy: Because when you act with a sense of urgency, you give your prospects or potential clients and customers a reason to overcome inertia and move forward. Your job is to convince them that your product or service could be a great fit for them. You help them to understand that every day, week, or month without your product or service could be detrimental to their situation. As a result, they’re compelled to act as soon as possible.

Caleb: Stacy, correct me if I’m wrong, but although not everyone is in a true sales role, everyone has to “sell” something at one time or another during their Animal Health or Veterinary career. Is that right?

Stacy: That is absolutely right! And one of the things that people “sell” is themselves during the hiring process. This is where having a sense of urgency helps once again, because you will present yourself better to the hiring manager who is interviewing you. You’ll be seen as more confident, which can make you a more attractive candidate for whatever position the organization is trying to fill.

Another phrase for sales is the “power of persuasion,” and having that power is a valuable soft skill. That’s because people persuade people to do things all the time on a daily basis, regardless of the industry or profession in which they work. If you have a sense of urgency, then you will be better able to persuade other people, regardless of how or why you’re trying to persuade them.

So don’t just think of it as “sales” and disregard the importance of urgency. Think of it instead as “persuasion” and recognize that a sense of urgency and the power of persuasion play an important role in a person’s Animal Health of Veterinary career success.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Yes. As is the case with many of the core values that we’ve discussed and will be discussing in the future, discipline is key. Discipline is doing the right things, even if they are not easy things. Discipline is knowing what behaviors and actions will lead to your effectiveness and then executing them.

There is a lot of competition in the workplace and in the employment marketplace overall. As a person grows their Animal Health or Veterinary career, they compete with other candidates for the best jobs. People compete against each other at an employer for promotions within the organization. Competition is inevitable, but it also brings out the best in people. It helps them to perform at a high level.

Discipline is the intentional and purposeful actions of the will, and it’s a big factor in having a sense of urgency and all the soft skills that result from acting with that urgency.

Caleb: Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about the core value of urgency and a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

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