Sense of Urgency: Learn It, Use It, Own It.

Sheryar Abdullah Photo
Sheryar Abdullah

This is something you naturally have but have to work on to rediscover the skill. Urgency takes years and years of work to master it. Then comes working on, when to use it and when to ease off the paddle. Like many others, it has taken me a while to learn and understand, and the more I work on it, the more I realize how important it is when to use it and sometimes it’s just not needed because it can be mentally and physically demanding.

Here are a few things it’s done for me over the years and more importantly put me in the environment I’ve always strived for.


Over time, showing urgency has put me in a position to take on bigger roles, have increased in pay, put me in a management circle multiple times even when I wasn’t a manager, got me a seat with NHL scouts, shaking hand with NHL executives/president of Hockey Operations.

My advice is, to show a sense of urgency in what you do and what you love. Be respectful but show that you care. Take pride in your approach and that comes with good habits even during times when results aren’t showing, process matters.


This one is the most important for me and if there was one thing out of everything I say, it’s this. Your relationship skills showing urgency and putting in the effort towards your relationship with everyone you want to keep are very important. Just don’t forget about the relationship with yourself, that is important.

We tend to chase and get lost in the process. I used to believe that was a good thing until I did too much chasing and emptied my relationship with myself.

Once you have that sorted out, you should be very good at creating boundaries and restrictions to make sure it’s well-balanced.

Showing sense of urgency by building and making the effort to keep those relationships has its benefits, and the few relationships I’ve built at the highest level of hockey have taught me so much about what it’s really all about.


This is about being a reliable resource to those who want to be around you and want to keep you around because you have shown several times that you bring skill and value to an organization, community and culture that’s being built. You can also add trust to this as well. The more you show this consistently the easier it is to lead and when you work with young athletes in my case, they need someone consistent at showing, not only talking about it.

To finish this off I’d like to say, that this is a lifelong skill and it doesn’t come overnight. There is a process to it. It’s an instinct that needs to be worked on every day. It can influence the environment around you. It can be used to inspire, lead and direct a home, community, team, work, church, country and so much more.

If you see lack of sense of urgency, it’s an opportunity for you to step up and be the person who can set the tone. It’s a powerful tool. Learn it, use it and own it.

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