“It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly. Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that know neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th U.S. President
I’ve used this idea of “getting in the game” to help one of my clients build a process for fast-track development of new hires. She used to take three months to ramp-up new hires – now we’ve turned that into one. “I truly thought it would be a disaster,” she admitted. “I thought too many things would go wrong. However, I’ve recently recognized that they learn better if I get them on the court sooner. By letting out ‘the leash’ earlier (while simultaneously providing strong support), we’ve created an environment where people want to step up, learn, and take responsibility sooner.”
The old adage is true – you’ve got to be in it to win it. Whatever game you want to play, don’t spend too much time on the sidelines. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing – get in there. Once you’ve taken a few licks, you’ll learn what to do.
Try This (with yourself or your team):
1. Be aware of any place where you seem to be over-planning before taking action.
2. With regards to that situation, if you knew you couldn’t fail, what’s the first action you’d take? why?
3. What’s the second action you’d take? why?
4. Realize there’s a good chance you already know what you need to do to get started.
5. Stalling might mean you’re waiting for a certainty that will never come.