–Leaders take action even when they don’t know the best thing to do
Imagine five birds are sitting on a limb of a tree. Count them: one, two, three, four, and five. Three of the birds decide to fly off. How many birds are left sitting on the limb?
You might be tempted to say two, figuring five minus three equals two (5-3 = 2).
I beg to differ. I suggest all five birds are still sitting on the limb, because the decision to fly off is very different than the action of flying off! Making a decision and actually taking action are vastly different! Leaders take action even when they don’t know the best thing to do.
We all know people who have made New Year’s resolutions or decisions to do something, but have failed to take the actions necessary to make it a reality.
Go ahead and use this story with those around you. They can tell you they made a decision, but if they haven’t taken the action, then they’re still sitting on the limb.
Maybe someone in your business made the decision to communicate or delegate more, but if they aren’t taking the actions necessary to be successful, they are still sitting on the limb.
Or maybe you have decided to lose weight or invest money, but are still thinking about what to do. Action is the key. Be an action fanatic today!
Many times the act of taking action clears the way for the proper action to be taken. When you first put yourself in motion, it may not be the best action, but it can create a better action, and another better action, and another when before you didn’t know what to do.
Write down two actions that support a decision you have made recently but have been holding back on taking action. Tell them to a friend and commit to doing them this week.
There is a big difference between making a decision and taking action. Be an action fanatic!
Action Step #1
Make a list of five decisions you have made, such as: to lose weight, exercise, make more money, have a better relationship, invest or save money, spend more time with the children, etc. Assign each decision a specific day. Don’t go to sleep each day until you have taken action on that decision.
Action Step #2
Clip out a picture or make one up of three birds flying and put it somewhere where you will see it constantly. Let this remind you that you are a person of action and that birds are actually flying off your branch.
Many years ago I was in a Shaky’s pizza parlor watching a Mohammed Ali boxing match. I believe, in terms of boxing, Ali truly was the greatest.
There were about 200 people in the restaurant watching the fight on a large screen. Mohammed Ali was fighting a white boxer.
There was one guy watching who was drunk to the point of saliva dripping down his chin. He was also about six foot five and weighed around 250 pounds.
Every time the white boxer would punch Mohammed Ali, the drunk would say “stick that . . . ,” using the infamous “N” word. I knew it was wrong, but didn’t know what to do. My mind was telling me that if I talked to the drunk, not only might I get beat up, but he wouldn’t hear or understand me anyway.
Finally, I couldn’t stand it, so I walked over intending to tell him to stop using that word, but what came out of my mouth was a complete surprise to me. I said, “It’s okay. I love you and it will be OK.” And as I spoke, I lightly touched his shoulder.
He shoved me away and mumbled if I touched him again he would punch my lights out (or words to that affect).
I said again, “It’s okay. I love you and it’s going to be all right.” He shoved me away and mumbled a few more things I couldn’t understand. So, I sheepishly went back to my chair feeling like a failure.
Interestingly enough, within three or four minutes he left the pizza parlor. There could have been a lot of reasons he left the restaurant, but it didn’t matter. The key is that the problem got solved. The action of my feet crossing the room led to a different action than I thought I was taking and the problem got solved.
“Nobody made a greater mistake than they who did nothing because they could do only a little”