Every day we have so many choices about how we spend our time, what we choose to act upon and what we choose to let go. Many of us hesitate to act for a variety of reasons: we want to be sure that we’re right and we’re not going to make a mistake. We don’t know where to begin. We are overwhelmed by all that we have to do and acting on something new is just one thing too many. We are waiting for help or permission. There are hundreds of excuses for inaction.
To combat this, I try to create an environment where failure is embraced as part of the learning process. When people are given permission to fail, I believe that they are more creative, passionate and eager to innovate. I have much less tolerance for inertia than for trying something and failing. In fact I applaud those who have the courage to try something to solve a problem.
I have also learned that when action is related to an overarching vision, and strategy taking that first step becomes much easier. At Fedcap we are committed to a world where people have opportunities to overcome barriers to economic well-being. There is no one right way to achieve this vision. As long as people across the agency are tethered to this vision and are working toward it, then I expect action to be taken in a hundred different ways. The pivotal point is action. Seeing how your work every day ties to a larger vision is what keeps us motivated and excited.
Articulating the purpose of the action will help eliminate those obstacles like perfectionism, being overwhelmed, or not knowing where to begin.
Do your actions each day feeds a greater purpose? Do you know how the meeting that you are attending feeds the larger goals of your agency? Writing a report? Developing a proposal? If you don’t know why, then ask. Talk with someone, see how critical what you do is to the agency’s purpose.