Liz Bywater – “Slow Down To Speed Up”

Liz Bywater has worked with some of the largest corporations in the world and observed at close quarters how they function day to day and over the long term. The modern world spins faster and faster with each passing year while we still grapple with eternal human limitations but Bywater’s observations about effective leadership, strategic planning, and the pitfalls we often create for ourselves attempting to realize commercial goals run throughout her book Slow Down to Speed Up: How to Lead, Succeed, and Thrive in a 24/7 World. The short book addresses the subject in a multi-faceted manner rather than honing in on one or two central points and will stand for some time to come as one of the seminal works for how businesses and workforces can function best in the topsy turvy world of modern life.


She brings the same focus to the book she advocates for businesses. Bywater divides Slow Down to Speed Up into two parts. “Slow Down” emphasizes how the pace of our lives today presents substantial challenges for leadership hoping to maintain an even keel while reaching their benchmarks and puts forth a structure for accomplishing this. She discusses different specifics – the blessing and curse of email use, the danger of repeating patterns, and the value of strategic pauses, among other topics. She backs up her theories and ideas with concrete exercises leadership can pursue to help realize their aims. Her examination of pivot points includes particularly effective exercises any reader can engage with.

The second part of the book “Speed Up” takes on putting what you’ve learned into action. This discussion includes prioritization, issues of influence, control, and adaptation, and effective use of email that minimizing wasting time and targeting issues at hand. Bywater includes even more detailed exercises for readers in this second half of the book and they are clear and self-explanatory rather than removed from practical application. Unfettered clarity is one of the abiding hallmarks of Slow Down to Speed Up and it isn’t reflected in these exercises alone, but the prose as well. Her writing talents are apparent from beginning to end.


She addresses how you sustain success as well – basic things like the need to eat right and on a schedule, sleep the right amount, and maintain a regime of self-improvement encouraging ongoing results rather than undercutting your efforts. The relative brevity of Slow Down to Speed Up may surprise many readers, but Bywater does a five star job of packing a voluminous amount of information and guidance into a little over one hundred pages without leaving the reader feeling unsatisfied or incomplete. Slow Down to Speed Up isn’t a single rewarding read. Leadership of every stripe can return to this book over and over and find something new before exhausting its potential. Liz Bywater proves, if nothing else, than an attentive observer with a talent for seeing the big picture can assist organizations intent on realizing their potential and this work will enjoy enduring popularity thanks to those talents.

Clay Burton, posted by Michael Rand

About Author /

Start typing and press Enter to search