Written by Kathy Fauble, M.Ed., Director, and Liz Swanson, Assistant Director, ICAHN Professional Education Services
Today’s blog focuses again on The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews. Decision three is to be a person of action, and it says, “Beginning today, I will create a new future by creating a new me. No longer will I dwell in a pit of despair, moaning over squandered time and lost opportunity. I can do nothing about the past. My future is immediate. I will grasp it in both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act! I seize this moment. I choose now.”
I like this decision, because I consider myself a person of action. I try not to overthink things. If I have a super power, making a quick decision and being a person of action would probably be it. When I was building my first house several years ago, I was moving from a small apartment and had to go buy furniture to fill up a three-bedroom house. I went to the furniture store 30 minutes before it closed and picked out all the furniture for my house. My sister-in-law was with me and was completely amazed. She could not understand how I could make a decision about things that fast. I told her sometimes you just have to pick. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Just Do It!
In my world deciding, taking action, and moving forward are more important than getting it perfect. I think this is what Andy is saying. Nike had a huge ad campaign for years that said "Just Do It." Being a person of action is what Nike is calling us to be with this slogan.
I really liked another quote from this section of the book. “Leading is doing. To lead, I must move forward.” Think about this, are you as a leader of your organization paid to just maintain the status quo? Does your administration or your board of directors not want to see growth? I don’t pretend to know every organization or circumstance, but I would assume the answer to this is a big no.
Most organizations want to be continuously improving. If you only want to stay where you are, then do what you have always done. If you want to be a forward thinker, then take a step and move forward. I am not naïve enough to think that some steps forward won’t end in disappointment, but forward momentum in an organization can propel real and lasting change.
Cutting edge organizations are created by lots of informed decisions and actions of its leadership moving it in a forward direction. If you feel your organization doesn’t want to move forward, then that is when you must decide if you can be a crew member on that stagnant ship. The truth is a stagnant organization will not last for the long haul, just ask Kodak or Blockbuster. Be a person of action, step out of your comfort zone, and "Just Do It!"