February 20, 2020
The GAP between intent and action
Let’s start with me saying that I have had lots of great intents over the years but like many of us did not take action to turn intent into something. Does that mean I failed? Maybe or maybe not. I can state one thing for sure. Any intent with out action is just wishful thinking. I also know that wishful thinking does not turn into something unless you are in the world of make believe.
One of the things that I hear from our cleints is that we hold them accountable. For some this is a welcomed framework. For others it is the pain in their side that someone is looking over their shoulder and letting them know they said they were going to do something and did not get it done. This concept of being accountable to take action on an intent to do something is one of the reasons businesses and leadership stagnate.
Part of this challenge is that good intent followed by a lack of action creates lots of undertone in the culture. The organization hears of a direction or objective and gets excited that something is going to take place. Unfortunately the end result is more of the status quo. After a while the team gets numb of the items shared because at the end of the day they already know that nothing is going to change or take place regarding it. This creates the undertone of various individuals commenting on this, that or the other thing not moving forward. People like and want and even need to be part of something that is exciting, getting better, has great future possibilities. As much as people don’t prefer change, they also don’t like to be told something is improving only to not realize any benefits because no action was taken to move it forward.
A contributing factor to the absence of action is that we generally don’t know how to prioritize what to take action on. We see, hear or experience something and declare that we will do this or that to rectify the situation. Moments after that proclamation, something else drops in our laps and that now becomes the focal point of our time and energy. We already committed to one thing and now we commit to yet another situation. This cycle repeats and basically blurs our priorities.
Another contributing factor is fear of failure. We intellectually know we should be doing something. We are not skilled in that specific area so the actions needed to take of it are outside of out present comfort zone. The results is a the break in confidence. We pause, reflect and then pause some more. This procrastination builds a resistance muscle in us to begin to avoid things we are not 100% confident in doing. We begin to seek perfection at such a high level that we basically stop taking action.
We all like the comfort of knowing how and when and what to do. We enjoy the routine of all things in their place. We also know that in order to grow personally and professionally we must step outside of the boundaries which contributed to helping us be successful. These same talents that got each of us to this point will not move us forward into future success. Life is full of various risk taking adventures. We must be open to taking the leap to jump over the gap between the items we intend to do something about and the actual action we take to make things happen.
Need someone to hold you accountable to yourself? Engage a Promise Guide at JKL Associates by calling (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.