We all have something we would like to change about our work selves. Maybe it's a new skill to learn, additional knowledge to acquire, a level of discipline to which we aspire, or more consistent results we covet. And, sometimes it isn't even about what we want, it's about what we don't want. We no longer want to fear our clients; we are tired of accepting "the way we've always done it"; we become frustrated by inefficiencies; we are no longer willing to accept mediocrity.

Unfortunately, sitting around thinking about what we want, or don't want, gets us nothing but frustrated. And, in an attempt to deflect responsibility for inaction, we find too many excuses to not get started.

I don't have the necessary resources - Sure, the economy has been slow and we have to be more careful than ever about how we spend our money. However, this is still business and being successful still means making the right investment. Stop focusing on the price of the investment alone and weigh it against the potential return. Make yourself identify your "cost of doing nothing", and you may find the investment is by far the least costly decision.

I'm not sure how to implement the needed change - Tap into your peer group. I am certain someone in your peer group has either already figured it out or is willing to help you figure it out. Doing anything new will most certainly involve some missteps, and that's okay. Sticking with a broken status quo will definitely cause problems, and that's unacceptable.

I need to feel the pain before I'll do something - Most people won't say as much, but we see it in their actions, or inactions to be more accurate. If waiting only led to pain for you, that would be bad enough. However, when your inaction causes pain for others, it's inexcusable.

But, sometimes you have an idea, you see a way to implement, the resources are available, and you can see the pain and want to avoid it at all cost. Sometimes, the only thing holding you back is a little bit of self-doubt about whether or not you are right. If that's all that's holding you back, go get the validation from somebody on your team or a peer whose opinion you trust.

Describe for them:

  • Exactly what it is you want to start/stop doing.
  • Why it is important.
  • The investment needed to make it happen as well as the cost of doing nothing.
  • The first few steps you will take to implement.
  • The performance pain you anticipate if you don't take action.

If going through this exercise and putting your ideas on paper isn't enough to get you moving, the conversation with whomever you ask will certainly do the trick. Of course, be open to feedback. There are always ways to make great ideas even better.

 

Photo by William Warby.