Beloved Leadership #6 - Trust there is Time

Beloved Leadership #6 - Trust there is Time

Hello! Welcome to the next part of the Beloved Leadership series. This series explores practices that directly contrast most organizations' typical extractive and toxic working methods. In their book Beloved Economies, Jess Rimington and Joanna Cea identified and researched these practices and detailed how they elevate creative and effective output when people work together.

The sixth practice that Jess Rimington and Joanna Cea bring to our attention in their book Beloved Economies is trust there is time.

While they acknowledge that asking people to trust is dicy, and asking them to have trust that there is time to do amazing work could inspire suspicion, they describe the specific practices of this trust and how it results in more powerful work being completed in a shorter amount of time. This practice, when embraced, can lead to a more balanced and productive work environment, instilling a sense of hope and optimism in the team.

In this case, the classic adage to “go slow to go fast” means treating time like an abundant resource and not succumbing to the business-as-usual frantic pace and busy everything is urgent culture. The practice means shifting both mindset and how time is used. Focus changes to the quality of attention, revising priorities to make sure they are values aligned, and challenging the reliance on feelings of urgency to motivate work. This shift in perspective empowers individuals to take control of their time and work more confidently.

This practice involves “honoring people’s time constraints and real urgency.” It means communicating deadlines and time constraints when a project begins and also every time things change along the way. They expect things to shift and show care by seeking consent and discussing the impact with everyone affected.

By rejecting unquestioned urgency “trusting there is time is about cultivating a quality of awareness that allows the spaciousness to choose the pace that best serves the work at hand.” Changes happen along the way but the priorities are never held with top-down urgency at the forefront. This reassures the participants about this practice's effectiveness, giving them confidence in its application.

Rimington and Cea note that trusting there is time also means prioritizing the fundamentals. Creating solid foundations takes time on the front end, which pays off in terms of more efficient and higher-quality work, but only if you actually do take the time to establish these strong foundations in the first place.

In my work with teams, I’ve seen many frustrated leaders and frustrated teammates who feel like the team could be doing better. When I ask them how well they know their teammates (not their strengths, who they are as people), things suddenly get hazy and vague. They didn’t take the time to build the foundations and initial levels of trust that lead to amazing outcomes. This process is one thing people most want to skip over to “get to the meat of the work,” but it also makes the meat of the work doable. The process is worth it.

One of Rimington and Cea’s research partners says, “Quality processes lead to quality outcomes,” and those processes take time and attention to do well. To do this, they suggest co-defining the foundations the group will prioritize. These clear, shared priorities will keep everyone on track when time pressure ramps up.

Through this entire practice, the researchers and research participants emphasize that slowing down isn’t about speed; it’s about shifting awareness. The change is from embracing urgency as the driving force to increasing the quality of their presence with each other.

There will always be pressure to get it done now (or preferably before now), but organizations can achieve revolutionary outcomes only by shifting away from unnecessary urgency and toward shared priorities with the quality of spacious time.