“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas. What’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin
The third and final phase of the Leadership Pyramid is “Intensity”: the action stage of being a leader. This phase is only possible after a leader has a clear understanding of their identity and after they have laid out a direction for where to go in the Intentionality phase.
Seth Godin’s quote speaks to the difference between average leaders and great leaders: having the will to take action.
If you are going to lead, you must be willing to not only have great ideas, but you must be willing to take the action necessary to execute those ideas.
Leaders are action oriented people. Leaders have a bias toward action.
I’m not going to lie: this is one of the areas that is a struggle for me. I have a natural inclination to procrastinate. I am really good at putting things off. By nature, I’m an analyst and I’d much rather think about ideas than take action on them.
Just ask my wife.
Thankfully for me, I have an entrepreneurial wife who has a natural bias toward action. She pushes me to act. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support. On a daily basis my wife is challenging me to take action.
I’ve also learned that having a bias toward action is actually a skill that you can acquire. Yes, it takes work, but with practice it gets easier.
When working with other leaders, I often ask them these three questions: Where do you want to be a year from now? What will it take to get there? What can you do TODAY to get you one step closer?
The first two questions are easy. It’s the third question that will take you out of your comfort zone.
If your goal is to lose weight, the answer to the third question likely means eating less or exercising more. If you want to save money, the answer to this question might mean sacrificing a new purchase or taking a second job.
If you are going to lead, you are going to have to take action. Often times taking such action will require you to get out of your comfort zone. And if having a bias toward action doesn’t come naturally to you, then its even more important that you surround yourself with people who will push you to take action. You’ll be glad that you did.