The modern business and political environments are full of talk of inspiration, upliftment, responsibility, and a myriad of “feel-good” topics. The question remains how effective these topics and their resulting actions are in making meaningful, measurable, and responsible impacts.
Ask almost any business leader if talking is more important than doing, and inevitably they will tell you that doing things is more important. Despite this common knowledge, we will still see too many leaders talking about change, responsibility, and measuring impacts, without actually seeing anything happening!
There are several possible reasons for this, but the one that makes the most sense comes from the world of neuropsychology. Talking about doing something tricks our brains into believing that we’ve done something (i.e. the act of talking becomes the act itself), instead of implementing something in the real world outside of our own perspectives.
The Trap of Inaction
No matter a person’s education, background, or business credentials, they can still fall victim to this kind of thinking. We also contribute to the problem for example when we are padding ourselves on the back for delivering a great proposal towards solving a business challenge, without actually proceeding to take the steps to implement those proposals.
Perhaps one could consider this approach to be a form of risk mitigation where we are too scared because of rational (or irrational) reasons to implement action.
This is where we can start drawing from inspirational and visionary business leaders who faced seemingly daunting challenges and fears, but took action nonetheless. Taking action and readjusting should take precedence over empty wishing and needless stress that results in nothing anyway.
Benefits of Taking Action
Taking action can help create a new business reality where new options, possibilities, and opportunities exist. Action is especially important for businesses that are stagnating and where leaders are hamstrung by indecision.
Businesses that are action-oriented are often also the ones who dictate new realities in a business sector. They become the proactive ones that others want to follow. They do not have their methods or possibilities forced on them by the competition or the ever-changing winds of popular opinion or outdated platitudes.
Part of being responsible leaders is to acknowledge that we need to interact and actively engage with our sectors, organisations, and teams. We cannot talk about doing things and then moving on to the next big idea or project.
Thankfully, we do not always have to go with massive, risky actions, but we can start with small incremental actions that add up. Nothing less would be expected from a responsible and change-oriented leader.
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