Kevin Roberts of Saatchi and Saatchi said “Execution is the killer app.”
One thing most people don’t need is more information. But most people could do with more APPLICATION of what they know. More ACTION (or TRACTION).
This is nothing new. Decades ago, Peters and Waterman identified “A Bias for Action” as a key differentiator of successful businesses. Ready. Fire. Aim.
Not that I am in favour of mindless activity but there is no doubt that regular, consistent action is a prerequisite for business (and individual) traction.
“In my 8 years as CEO of medium sized financial company, I have found that ….a well-judged idea, but poorly executed is typically unsuccessful. A poorly-judged idea, but well executed is often very successful.” Patrick Weller
This is a similar theme to the distinction between creativity and innovation. Creativity is generating great ideas, but innovation is turning them into metal. There really is no shortage of good ideas but there is a shortage of action that turns ideas into money.
Great plans and sound intentions do not equate with success. Great habits borne out of self-discipline and self-control are the foundation for consistent action. People need to choose what works for them. Various approaches include:
- Developing a compelling vision that drives actions
- Setting goals you feel passionate about, writing them down and publishing them (or telling someone.)
- Deadlines – “no matter what” commitment to a time by when something will happen
- Starting each day with an “hour of power” – the tasks that are most likely to give most traction
- 10 X 10 – for sales people. (Ten key phone calls by 10 am)
- Keeping a log of activity and working out the numbers and conversion rates/ratios.
When you monitor what you spend, you spend less; when you monitor what you eat, you eat less, but when you monitor your actions, you do MORE and get further.
To turn good intentions into current reality you need to work the plan. One man of action is Lucas Remmerswaal (http://13habits.org). His goal is to end poverty in NZ by financially educating children and believes each should start and run multiple businesses by age 18 to learn how to create wealth and create employment. He cycled around NZ enticing school kids to give up their lunch break in favour of hearing a story: The Tale of Tortoise Buffet.
Inspired by Charlie Munger’s “Poor Charlie’s Almanack” (lauded by both Gates and Buffet) he ACTED. He hopped on a plane to interview Munger, then met Warren Buffet’s sister and got permission to use the Buffet name.
I have found that acting consistently on what I know has had far more impact than accumulating more information or merely chasing the latest great idea. No doubt there are many in Christchurch, on this second anniversary of the September 2010 earthquake, who believe ACTION speaks louder than words. This is time to remember the many who are toiling tirelessly to rebuild broken lives, especially since Feb 2011…………who are taking action in the toughest of circumstances. (Like all those who organised and supported tedxeqchch 2012.) Every act counts.