A bias for action

May 13, 2020 | News | 0 comments

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bias for action, progress

Photo: Shutterstock.

Since the start of the pandemic, one of the key business mantras out there, is that it’s smart to have “a bias for action“.

That’s not only wrong. It’s dangerously wrong.

On a surface level, the advice seems to make sense. It sounds positive after all. However, if you think about it for a few minutes you’ll spot the obvious error. You’ll notice that many of the most unproductive people you’ve ever met had a bias for action.

These include:

  • The people without a strategy, who are enthusiastically doing the wrong things.
  • The people who work like crazy until they burn out and get sick.
  • The people who jump from project to project, because they’re action focused and get bored fast.
  • The people who keep themselves busy doing what’s comfortable, rather than what’s required.

It reminds me of something Jim Rohn used to say; “Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.” Harsh words. But Jim made a very solid point.

Develop a bias for progress

The most productive people in business make a critically important distinction. Instead of a bias for action, they widen it out. They don’t want to be busy. They want to achieve desired outcomes. So they develop a bias for progress instead. Progress is what happens when preparation is combined with action.

This means planning first, then acting. Using your time and energy as effectively as you possibly can.

These are challenging times and we all need to be at our productive best. So get specific about exactly what you want to achieve. Do the research. Get the advice. Look at the numbers. And if everything stacks up, take action.

And finally, from my home to yours: I hope you and those you love stay safe.

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