Waiting around to be told what to do has great risk today. While we used to be rewarded for being a good boy or girl in school and work, that framework has become antiquated. We are connected today and this has opened up the opportunity for leadership from the bottom up. This means that we are expected to set the next steps.
The people that know what the next thing to do is and get on with getting things done are being rewarded. We don’t have to wait for permission. We just have to initiate, act and have great ideas. Making those ideas happen may feel like stepping out onto the abyss for those that are used to getting direction or avoiding risk. For those that understand that the next thing is the crux point of differentiation, here are some further ways to get to the next thing:
- Remove emotion. Looking at your options without emotion creates clarity that helps to define what is possible and achievable. Choosing objectivity or inviting an advisor into a situation are great strategies to seeing the playing field.
- Embrace emotion. Emotion is also fuel. It helps us act from a raw source of motivation. If you are feeling passionate or enthusiastic about something, act now. Ride the wave to help push through the inertia.
- Pick one thing. The next thing is the most important thing to focus on. It is often a momentum builder and helps to open up the path. We don’t necessarily have to have all the next steps. Taking the first step can open up vision.
- Practice. Move to action as quickly as possible. While deliberation and dialogue can be helpful, these can be time wasters. Learning by doing and being action-oriented can open up the vision for a bigger picture of options that make sense.
While we may be overwhelmed by all the options before us, it is an opportunity to lead. Leading ourselves and then others by focusing on the next thing is a habit that allows you to play effectively in the new economy. It is getting rarer that someone will come along and tell you what to do next. The new art is to define that strategy and take action continually. It is how winning is done when everyone has access to the same tools and participate in a connected world.
What do you think?