"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity." -Amelia Earhart
What is it that keeps us from acting on issues that we know we should act on? They may be in our personal or professional lives. It is the gap between what we know we ought to do and the resolve to do it. It is not the knowing but the doing. And then when we finally act, if we do, we wonder why we didn't do it a long time ago. There are three common reasons for avoiding action on things we know we ought to act on. InertiaIt is easier to live with the status quo than it is to rock the boat and cause disruption. So, we keep an unproductive staff member, don't deal with conflict between two work teams or ignore the need to clarify what we are all about. Inertia is about living in our comfort zone. Not stirring up things that don't need to be stirred up (but actually do). It is about our not wanting to wade into things that will be hard or inconvenient but that we know in our heart of hearts are important to deal with. Maybe if we wait long enough the problem will resolve itself - usually it gets worse not better. FearThe other side of the inertia coin is fear. Inertia is often a result of fear. What will happen if I take a bold step and deal with this issue? Will I get pushback (probably)? Will someone be upset with me (probably)? Will I have to confront a person or issue (probably)? If our fear is greater than our resolve we ought not be in leadership. All leaders have fear but good leaders learn to not allow fear to keep them from acting on known issues. They do the right thing in spite of their fear and don't allow their fear to drive their inaction. Leaders can use their fear to define how they do something but should never use their fear to keep them from doing what needs to be done. Acknowledge you fear, use your fears to alleviate unintended consequences but take the needed action. ResolveLack of resolve is the reason that many issues are partially addressed but then left hanging. Why? There was pushback, someone got upset or we had to confront something that was inconvenient. It is worse to address an issue and then drop it than it is to not address it in the first place. "Do not underestimate my resolve" ought to be the mantra of a leader. If I need to deal with something I will deal with it completely rather than partially. My resolve keeps me from backing down simply because there is pushback which there almost always will be given people's preference for inertial over action. Leaders not only must know but they must do. That is leadership.


  • Oct 20, 2018
  • Category: News
  • Comments: 0
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