Whether you are an executive, a first line manager, a senior manager in a leadership position or an entrepreneur trying to grow your business, the one thing that will determine your success will be that you get things done. Taking action is imperative – it is more important than your creativity, your IQ, your interpersonal skills and your technical knowledge combined…
If you are looking to excel, to differentiate and to grow, then it is your getting things done attitude that will set you apart. This is not something that everyone can do easily. If it was, why would there there be this acute shortage in every organization of non-procrastinating action-taking individuals?
Here are 4 key insights on how to become The Action Manager:
1- Shift to Real Time
A colleague calls you to ask for the next date you can attend a meeting and for your inputs to the agenda. There are two ways to handle this. The first is you send a reply saying “I will revert to you on Wednesday” and the second real-time version is to knock out a quick reply as soon as you can. By doing things rather than contemplating doing things, you become a doer.
I remember a consultant from an ivy league university asking me when we could schedule the next training and what topics would be of interest to my clients. My response was “let me think about this and I will get back to you next week”. He didn’t like this and responded that he did not have time to mull over this the following week. He took out a pad, wrote a list of topics and possible dates and we finalized the plan for the next trip. That was that. Action completed. No to-ing and fro-ing or long email exchanges
2- Don’t Wait for the Perfect Time
In actual fact, there is no such thing as the perfect time. The perfect time is just a notion in your head. The best time to deal with something is when that something happens or very soon after. There is a saying that the best time was yesterday and the second best time is now.
3- Action and Execution Outweigh the Idea
We ask people in entrepreneurship or business courses what is going to determine the success of their venture or initiative more, the uniqueness of their business idea or the execution? It’s incredible how many people don’t appreciate that you can have the most unique idea around but without execution, it won’t see the light of day. A mediocre idea with great timely execution on the other hand can often succeed.
4- Focus on Next Steps
Action taken in concrete steps gets you to your goal faster than thinking about the goal. If you are going to double your annual turnover, you are not going to get there by thinking about doubling your sales but by taking concrete action like doubling your sales calls, enhancing your geographic reach, leveraging via partnerships and so on. Take action and the outcome becomes possible.