Mark Richardson, CR, is an author, columnist, and business growth strategist. He authored the best-selling book, How Fit Is Your Business? as well as his latest book, Fit to Grow. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301.275.0208.
As I have studied successful and unsuccessful people, one of the key differences is the that successful people “act” sooner and more decisively. They are not afraid of making a decision, and while they welcome input and feedback, they believe that the win comes from “doing,” not “discussing.”
The challenge today is that the risk of making mistakes is greater. The proliferation of choices and the speed with which decisions need to take place can have a paralyzing effect that makes acting more difficult.
Here are several tips to help you overcome those obstacles:
Make taking action a priority. “You can’t eat an elephant in one bite” Breaking a big decision into smaller parts enables you to see it more clearly.
Take incremental action. There will always be times when you are concerned about making a mistake or need more information, but inching forward is better than standing still.
Think through the consequences of both action and inaction. Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen if you act or fail to act. The answers may surprise you.
Promote alignment with others. Often this is as important as making the best decision.
Seek sage advice. Ask at least three valued advisors what they would do. If they are unanimous in their opinions, it will make it easier to act. If they are split, the input from the discussion will help break the inertia of indecision.
Be clear about accountability for the action. Make sure that not acting is a conscious decision, too.
My mother passed away 6 months ago. If she was able to share some sage advice after 85 years, it would have been three things:
Changing your action mindset won’t happen overnight. But if you consciously try to be more of an action-thinker, you will gradually make this a success habit.