Wait For It … Or Not

Diving … … and we will be forever like a diver on the end of the board, hovering at the edge of action, waiting for the wind to die down, or the water to calm, or his heart to stop racing, or the stars to align, or …

As a young leader, one of the catchiest phrases I learned and shared was “Ready, Fire, Aim”.   This dry comment  was often on the lips of some of my earliest mentors.  They  were commenting deftly on the tendency by enthusiastic and inexperienced folks to act before they were really prepared  and with  “suboptimal” knowledge.  I have experienced some who felt that “real” leadership required prompt, if blind action.

Well, we all know what happens to folks who leap before they look, don’t we?

However, the other side of the coin is equally problematic, as Turgenev reminds us.

Some of us never have enough to actually act.  We need to gather more information, explore more alternatives, consider more possibilities.

We search for the perfect combination of time, place, people, events, situations, the weather, and anything else which might possibly affect our final commitment to a course of action.

… and of course, we always see one more piece of information, evidence, or proof in the distance … just give us a little more time …

I have no magic formula to help you determine where the sweet spot is between prudent research and preparation on the one hand and indecisive dithering on the other.

Just remember that both extremes come from valid needs:

The need to know what you are getting into …

The need to feel comfortable with your readiness …

The need to act …

Well, at least now I have reminded you that neither extreme is where you want to be, so hopefully your radar will be working to keep you in the middle:  prepared, ready, and doing.

Trying real hard to take my own advice in the Heartland ….