Manufacturing Excellence – Inspire, Lead, and Succeed by TAKING ACTION!

If I applied myself as much as I procrastinated… Wow! That would be powerful! I need a nap just thinking about it! 🙂

Sound familiar? Don’t we all know it? The problem of procrastination… Why is it so difficult to take action? Why is it so difficult to try new things? There are 3 reasons that come to mind:

  • Fear
  • Perfectionism
  • Complacency

I have to admit that even though most people who know me would describe me as very action oriented, there are many times when I get so frustrated with myself because certain tasks take me longer than they should because I simply can’t get my act together. It can also happen that I don’t get started on a new project because I either don’t have a deadline or there is enough time to meet this deadline. Yes, I am a self-declared “deadline-junky”.

Sometimes this happens because I don’t have my priorities straight, sometimes it happens because I simply don’t like the task, sometimes I lack self-discipline and more than once I catch myself simply being lazy. Humans are funny that way but I guess we have to constantly continue to work on ourselves to improve our natural tendencies. There is no point in coming up with excuses. I take action to improve my inaction by asking myself the question, “Karin, how can you overcome this obstacle and how can you do better, starting NOW?”

I know that I am sometimes too hard on myself but these are the principles that I teach, so I need to practise what I preach. How can I have expectations of others if I don’t set my own standards high? I have always believed in walking the talk if I want to see other people follow my lead.

Taking action and initiative combined with taking ownership and responsibility is something that I would like to see more of in today’s corporate world.
Wouldn’t you rather move forward instead of moving in circles?

It seems to me that many people are fearful of making mistakes because that’s the culture their top management team has created. The Executive Team makes the decisions, various levels don’t trust each other and everyone else is waiting around to get told what action to take, instead of using their own brain. When people are fearful they would rather make no decision at all instead of risking to make a wrong one. If you work in a company of “non-decision-makers”, it is very difficult to take action and the bigger the corporation, the more difficult it becomes.

Something else that holds people back from taking action is perfectionism. These individuals do a lot of research, they over-think and they rarely get anything going because it will be never good enough.  I am not at risk for this one. Once I get started, I am really good at dealing with the risk that comes with it because in my mind “nobody and nothing is perfect”. That’s why I would rather do something instead of nothing and make improvements along the way.

Last but not least we have to deal with complacency. This is a dangerous one because it is so easy to get sucked into a complacent mode. Unfortunately, many of us have created habits that don’t serve us well and we have started to live our lives on autopilot. How sad is this? Most people don’t like change and there is still the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – attitude”. However, if we would all think like this, there would be nothing new under the sun, there would be no inventions and no progress in the world. The truth is that we all have something important to give but we have to allow ourselves to discover what it is. Sometimes we are not even aware that we have to take action to make changes for the better.

Jim Rohn used to say, “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.”

What are you waiting for? Stop waiting for the perfect moment, do your part and take action because imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.

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