We have learned what happens when you get stuck on a fence. As a leader, you must be able to lead the charge toward the goals and missions of the company. Sitting on the fence can have serious repercussions.
But how do you get off the fence and start making good progress again?
Here are the actions you as a leader can take, starting today.
1. Stop making excuses.
What have you been telling yourself you are going to do? You know, those things you start out by saying, “One of these days”, or “when the economy gets better”, or “when we get around to it”, or “I’m really going to have to deal with that situation or that person.”
Chances are, if you are goal-driven as most leaders are, things will never settle down. We also know that “one of these days” never comes, and the economy fluctuates like the weather. I can’t predict either one. I coach and consult with executives in businesses that range from banks and hedge funds to automotive enterprises and manufacturing companies, and I have yet to meet anyone who can predict the economy or the weather with 100% assurance.
If professionals with their hand on the pulse of businesses can’t predict an upturn, who can? You can’t base your actions on unknown intangibles, but you can base actions on goals, solid principles, and a strategy for dealing with obstacles.
Waiting for better circumstances is lazy leadership. It is time to get off the fence.
Be a leader who makes no excuses.
2. Face your fears.
Most of my clients know what my biggest fear is. I share it with them, because it’s a common fear that I’ve learned how to manage. By sharing these things, I help them. Will it always be lurking, somewhere inside of me? Yes! Does it prevent me from making decisions anymore? No!
I honestly believe that only fools are not afraid. Especially as leaders, we hate to admit our fears. We hate to admit them because we see that as a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. Admitting that we have fears is a sign of humanity. I can’t recall who said it but they were absolutely right when they said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s making progress in spite of our fears.” Start facing them today, and you will progress.
Be a courageous leader who feels the fear but takes action anyway.
3. Start making progress TODAY.
Not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not next month or next quarter. Don’t wait for New Year’s either (we all know how most resolutions turn out). You shouldn’t need to plan to get off the fence, it simply requires action. Right now, think of one major decision you have been refusing to make. Take time today to think about the reasons why you are not making the decision. Write them down and visualize them. Make a list of positives and negatives, and then talk to your advisors (totally objective ones if you have any).
As I learned that one day years ago, fence sitting is a very bad practice. The cure is found in recognizing that you’re stuck and taking swift action to get to the other side.
Be a leader who takes action TODAY.
If I can be of help to you or your leadership team, don’t hesitate to contact me. I know a thing or two about getting off the fence!
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. For help in getting off the proverbial fence and on to success, “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.